Project Reflection

My project is essentially a genealogy and family history tool for people who are descended from the Davis family in Yass to use and read new information on their ancestors. The project is presented on OMEKA which is an excellent tool for displaying their category. In this case I used the database Trove to find a number of newspaper articles from throughout the history of Yass. These articles all relate to family names which are mentioned in the Davis family book From A Little Acorn, such as Davis, Garland, and Buckmaster. The articles cover a series of three separate subjects and these are the collections that the project consists of Deaths and Marriages. Each given item within these collections has the newspaper article typed out as well an image or multiple images of the newspaper article as well as a link to Trove for further reading and investigation for those curious to learn more. The aim for the project is that people who are descended from the family and people who are interested in the history of Yass and Heritage New South Wales can utilise this resource that brings together large amounts of data and information on this historical family without having to explore numerous different sites to find out information. As well as this members of the family can use it to find out interesting information and stories about their ancestors they would not be able to find from a family tree book. The general aim can be stated as to educate and increase the knowledge of people about their family history and with this potentially give them a better understanding of who they are and where they fit into the historical town of Yass’s history as well as the level of influence their family had upon that.

There is always a lot to learn when you are doing a project like this which is planned to display information and that is due purely to the fact that you are reading so many facts and newspaper articles full of information. As someone who is descended from this particular family in Yass I personally learnt large amounts of information about my own family. For instance, one of the featured newspaper articles discusses a murderer who is a member of the Davis family, something that I have never heard mentioned or been told about during family events or when reading about family history. As well as this I have learnt a great deal about Trove itself and about how at times when you are searching for a very specific thing there can be a large number of completely irrelevant pieces of information which surface themselves during the process. That was definitely one of the key difficulties I found when searching for newspaper articles, there were several instances where I would search for a last name and Yass and would get in return an article which would be discussing the two things but they would be relating to two separate topics. Another problem I found was that sometimes technology can be very unreliable and isn’t always available when you need it. On one of the days I had free from University I went to use Trove and found that it was not working that day due to technical difficulties which meant I was behind on where I wanted to be on my project that day. As well as this there seems to be some issues between the transfer of the image of the newspaper article to being written out next to it, this is why I have included images as well as some sources just don’t make any sense in the way they are written on Trove. Apart from those factors there were definitely aspects that went well OMEKA turned out to be a wonderful platform for my project and it displayed the collections and the data in a way no other site could have done and it also allowed me to enter in any relevant information so that if need be people could do further research on their own.

From my own assessment, I think that my project is more successful at meeting my aims than I had originally thought it would be. It really displays everything that I need displayed and allows me to show not only the written information but the visual information of the item. As well as this I can put a priority on the items that I think the people using this tool will find most fascinating. I was unsure as to whether I would really be able to find enough newspaper articles that would be interesting and engaging for an audience but once I began searching amongst the whole history of all the family names I could find huge amounts that will be really useful to everyone. I think overall though it really does meet those original aims which were to essential give members of the Davis family a reference tool to discover more information about their family and particular stories about their ancestors. As well as this my two collections were able to come to fruition thanks to the wide variety of articles found on Trove. Considering the main aim was really to give people a greater understanding of their family history I think this project definitely exceeds any expectations that I truly had for it overall. There are of course some things that I wish I could have been able to add in and some aspects that would have really enhanced this project for the user. It would have been excellent to be able to go through the family tree book and try and find every individual mentioned throughout but logistically that was not a feasible option so I instead had to choose a number of really prominent surnames from throughout the book and find the relevant sources. As well as doing that it would be an interesting future project to see if it were possible to use other aspects of Trove such as the photography and other categories to see if I could potentially find images of the ancestors and create a collection piece for this, however, it is hard to find the time to incorporate all these other aspects. There are certainly a number of avenues this project could be taken down but this particular version is definitely an excellent starting point if someone so wished to work furth

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