"Oh, I thought you were paid," is something often heard by our team at Yass and District Historical Society Archives, as they help visitors with queries about local families, houses and much more. Not only is that incorrect, but in fact the team all pay to be there! That's right. They are all paid up members of Yass and District Historical Society.
All are passionate about history, and particularly Yass Valley history. Many of our volunteers started out with an interest in their own family history or their house history. Others have a lifelong interest in history, or have even been history teachers. But all are keen to help preserve our local history and help you learn about yours. Fees paid for help with your research go towards computers and software and supplies to conserve objects, documents, photos; all things that go with current practices to look after our history and stories. With the equivalent of 160 shelf metres of records, including those from many of our local organisations, it is a mine of information.
So what are we all doing at the archives on Tuesdays when you arrive between 2pm and 5pm, and the first Saturday of each month between 11am and 3pm? Roma will probably be helping you with your enquiry. Others will be working to organise and care for our collection. Viv has recently digitised 500 photos and counting and adding these to our already large digital photo collection. Wilma is going through all our files of information about buildings and streets in Yass. These will be indexed for easier access to records on places, houses, commercial buildings and their history. Judith is sorting and will later index obituaries and funeral notices. These are often rich with wonderful details of people's lives sometimes missing from online resources.
I can be found searching our library, digital photos or extensive files looking to write the latest history story for the Yass Tribune. Our president, Cheryl, is currently working on our upcoming exhibition 'AJ Shearsby Renaissance Man of Yass'. And, leading our team of currently 11 volunteers is archives co-ordinator, Maureen, solving problems, locating documents, maps or photos and much more.
Thinking of finding out about your family, your house or some other aspect of the Yass Valley's fascinating history? NSW History Week (Saturday, August 31-Sunday, September 8) might be just the time to begin your research at our archives.