Monday 14 January 2013

TNA beginners: Start Here

The National Archives (TNA) in Kew, London, has launched a new website section to help those who are either just starting out on their family history research or find the site's catalogue rather overwhelming.

Start Here, as the new section is called, aims to explain what information is available at TNA and where to find it. It also aims to tell researchers what is online. Importantly, Start Here also spells out what is NOT available, both online and offline.

From a brief recce, I'd say it's a very useful addition. The guidance is provided in a crystal clear format with both written and video explanations and easy to navigate lists of themes/subjects. There are also short animations explaining what archives do, and how to prepare for research in them, and the section links to relevant features, podcasts and tutorials.

It's still in development, so feedback is being requested via a link.

TNA has significant holdings of material relevant to Irish genealogy research (not least military records and maps). Even so, I know there are many Irish researchers who, like me, have never invested the time to become familiar with the vast website. Start Here may prove to be just the helping hand I need.