Over the course of April we are exploring the studies registered with the Society for One-Place Studies featuring those that correspond to the relevant letter of the alphabet.

What is a One Place Study? That is a fine question and rather than me explain, I will refer you to the Society’s informative website. If you are interested in joining us and /or registering a study we of course welcome you. You can find the joining information HERE.

Y is for...

WhY undertake researching a place?

There are lots of reasons why you might, simply because you live in a specific location, or you have ancestral links to a place or perhaps because you feel a “connection” for reasons that are completely unclear. Maybe, like several of our study hosts you are, or have undertaken the study for academic work. Whatever the reason, a study host is limited only by their imagination of how they represent their study and share the material.

The video shown below is our online hangout which discusses Choosing Your Place:

The studies we have looked at over the last few weeks have ranged from an individual house, to a road, a specific migrant group, a hamlet, a village and to a large land mass, where the population is fairly small.

The way in which material has been shared is also different. Some hosts have their study off line, others share via a blog, others a webpage. Some have created an archive and museum or perhaps a cross of all those options.

Undertaking a One-Place study can be about whatever place you want to study, sharing material however you want to and it can be undertaken by an individual researcher or a historical or community group. There is no right or wrong way to conduct a study, there is simply YOUR way.

For those of you who recall my earlier post, in which I shared the details of Putting Your Ancestors in their Place by Janet Few, one of the sentences that I find says it all and puts the study concept into focus is this:

“Our ancestors did not live in isolation”

That sentence sums up the understanding of a One-Place study nicely. Our ancestors would have done basic tasks the same way regardless of how or where they lived. Consider this. Our ancestors lived without electricity, without central heating, without access to all the medical treatments we have today. There was no internet, no cars, no access to social funds in the way we have access. How did our ancestors cope? Conducting a One-Place Study allows a researcher to put all the knowledge and questions into context and helps us to understand what the world our ancestors lived in was like.

History is evolving. Yesterday is already history. A study created now, can be a legacy for the future. What other interest allows you to explore the past in such a personal and fascinating way?

Julie Goucher, A-Z Challenge Coordinator

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