Saturday, 19 January 2013

Join your local library....

This week, whilst reading the November 2012 Who Do You Think You Are magazine a letter caught my eye, it was entitled "Try free digital newspaper at your library".

The word "FREE" always grasps my attention when it comes to family history research, as I could spend so much money on my research if I wanted to, by subscribing to websites (such as AncestryFindMyPastThe GenealogistThe British Newspaper Archives and others), buying CDs of parish record transcriptions, ordering birth, death and marriage certificates, buying subscriptions to magazines and visiting places especially visiting London and The National Archives at Kew.

Reading the letter further, the writer explains that all local libraries offer access to the Times Digital Archive and The British Newspaper Archives on their computers, but now with some authorities you can access these websites "FREE" from the comfort of your own home. Looking into this further I discovered that a lot of local libraries offer "FREE" access to the big subscription as well but whether you can get free access on your home computer, I do not know.

East Bowling Library
(Image link:, Author: Betty Longbottom,
12 Dec 2007, accessed 15 Feb 2014
I have just ordered my library card on the library's website this week, so when I hear back from them I can go and collect it. Once I have the card I will be investigating what "FREE" services are available to me by being a member of my local library, whether that be from home or from the library's own computers.

I have been blissfully unaware that I could have done research without having to pay the expensive subscription fees. When I was a poor student I was prevented from doing much research as I could not afford the subscriptions to these sites. The down side to free access is that it might not always be available when and where you want, if you have to go to the library to use their computers every time you want to research it is not always convenient, especially when I work full-time. I also would not get the opportunity of researching from the comfort of my own living room, with my relaxing music on in the background with a nice cuppa tea!!!!

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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