Our post for 'I' was all about involving yourself with local and family history societies and working with groups who are interested in your place and its residents. There are other ways of joining forces in the process of conducting a one-place study. Any serious one-placer wants to learn more about possible sources to use, how best to conduct their research and how to present their findings. You can share ideas, methodology and techniques with other researchers, through our Forum, via Destinations articles, on Facebook, or during our Hangouts-on-air. Our annual conference is another way of getting together to learn more from others. We are now making good progress with our second 'Shared Endeavour' Migration Project. This is a wonderful vehicle, not only for exchanging ideas but also for mutual encouragement and support. Research can often be a rather solitary activity and this is a way of working together. With migration as a topic, joining forces takes on a new meaning as one place’s out-migrant is another place's incomer. It may be possible to work with another one-place researcher to investigate both ends of a migration story.
Sometimes we can offer another one-placer practical help with research. Could you collect data in a particular archive, or from an index, on behalf of someone else who is conducting a one-place study? Many people researching one-place are also family historians. Do you have ancestors who come from a place studied by someone else? Exchanging information is bound to be helpful to you both.
By sharing information and collaborating with people who are studying different places, you can set your own research in context. You might, for example, investigate marriage patterns in your place and find that the inhabitants favour the summer as a time of year to marry. Alternatively, you may look at population figures and discover a substantial rise in the 1840s and 1850s. This type of discovery only really becomes meaningful if you can compare your findings with those for other places. The Society for One-Place Studies is an ideal mechanism for doing this.
If you want to hear more about different ways of collaborating and co-operating with others, listen in to the recording of our Hangout-on air on the topic.