OK so it’s a bit late to call them ‘resolutions’ but this is the time of year when we take stock and have a think about what we are going to concentrate on over the next 12 months. Here are some suggestions, some of which I intend to adopt for my Springhill study.
1. Get organised
This is an ongoing challenge for me and having started so well in October by beginning to check and organise my resources catalogue the lure of the 1861 census proved to be too strong. So over the coming months I will finish this and use it to identify and complete things which were started then abandoned - a couple of half-transcribed wills for example. Alternatively you may wish to review your study strategy. Which resources have you researched and how thoroughly? Which ones still need to be done? Janet Few’s articles in the last two issues of our journal Destinations covering how she approached her new study from scratch serve as a good framework here.
2. Review how your study is presented.
Our treasurer, Alex, spent her holiday period reviewing her Wing website and giving it a whole new look - you can see the results of her efforts at https://wing-ops.org.uk. If you have a website, perhaps it is time to have a critical look at it and see if it can be improved or freshened up. If not, perhaps this is the time to start one. I have received information I wouldn’t otherwise have from visitors to my site. Alternatively you may want to consider producing a book, a heritage walk, an exhibit at a local history fair, a project for local schoolchildren, a Facebook group...
3. Get connected
A website is one way to do this of course but is limited in terms of interaction. Many OPSers use Facebook or Twitter, some more intrepid souls use Instagram or Pinterest. Whilst these may be more flexible in some ways, they receive less traffic than Facebook or Twitter and so you will have fewer chances to connect with others. Interacting with other OPSers in this way is a great way of sharing ideas, chat and corny jokes. If you are on social media, please join in the #OnePlaceWednesday chat on Twitter.
A second way to connect is through the Society’s annual Shared Endeavour. More details on this year’s project will be released to members shortly, but as a teaser you might just want to look if you have a census or two for your place available.
Don’t forget the value of personal contact either. The Society is planning to relaunch webinairs in the near future in which members can gather and chat online about an aspect of our studies. We are also planning a presence at THE Genealogy Show so pop by and say hi. Those of us attending other shows also arrange meet-ups from time to time. If you are going to a show why not check if any other members are going (via social media is probably easiest) and arrange to meet for coffee and chat?
4. Give back/pay forwards
Again there are a number of ways we can do this. Is there a relative newcomer to one-place studies who would appreciate a mentor? Is there a transcription project in which you could become involved? A local history or heritage group you can join? A museum or community project which welcomes volunteers? A random act of kindness for a fellow researcher?
5. Explore a new resource or record set
Your study is almost certainly not ‘finished’ - whose is? Is this the year in which you get to grips with a new record set which might shed light on your place? It might be worth exploring a few members’ websites (see the links in the Studies section of this site) then brainstorming potential new resources and see where they are available.
6. Visit an archive
Partly because not everything is online and partly because nothing can beat holding a document your study residents were involved in creating.
7. Research and record current events
This year’s current affairs is tomorrow’s history! The best chance to document changes and preserve the associated resources is now.
This is not exhaustive. What are other folks' goals for the next 12 months?