To the GSV Fundraiser Campaign donors and all our wonderful members
Thank you so much for your wonderful support, your generosity has been quite overwhelming. We have already reached the target we set to help us cover our operating costs during this Covid lockdown period.
Although government restrictions are being gradually relaxed, we do not envisage opening the Centre to members for a while yet. We can limit numbers and can social distance and sanitise at the Centre, but public transport into the CBD (which is steadily returning to pre-Covid passenger levels), is a major issue of concern for many of us. We are monitoring the situation and planning for a staged reopening of the Centre as soon as it is safe and practicable.
On the upside, we have used the closure period to work from home developing our digital skills. Using Zoom we can now resume some of our monthly Discussion Circles and members who are unable to get into the CBD can now participate. New members can access talks via the website introducing them to the society and our resources. We can now offer our Ancestorjournal in two digital formats as well as hardcopy.
In addition to having access from home (for the duration) to many of the major databases (find my past, TheGenealogist, MyHeritageand Ancestry), staff and volunteers have been working hard producing more digital resources for members to access from home. More than 128,000 new records have been added to our catalogue. Members can now access a beta version (pre-release software) of the GSV Presto catalogue by going to the bottom left of the Members’ page and clicking Presto.
These Victorian databases are unique to the GSV and we encourage you to explore them. There are now more than 3 million records in the GSV Genealogical Index of Names(GIN) database of people mentioned in our library holdings and elsewhere. These include names from hospital, criminal and school records, directories and newspapers as well as pioneer registers and published books. A new separate database called Milestonesnow contains nearly 1.4 million entries including births, baptisms, deaths and burials plus obituaries, cemetery and church registers. There are even more new records in the updated catalogue that can only be viewed at the GSV due to copyright requirements.
Once again, I thank you all for your ongoing support of the GSV. With your help, we are working to ensure that the GSV continues to educate family historians and provide research assistance for many years to come.
If you are not a member, you can see from the activity above that this is a good time to join - you have the time and we have the resources. Go to our website www.gsv.org.au and follow the links.