Tips for accessing a treasure trove of stories

Librarian Skye Stapleton continued the lesson after the workshop for some keen researchers.
Librarian Skye Stapleton continued the lesson after the workshop for some keen researchers.

A larger-than-expected enthusiastic crowd turned out to the Tenterfield Library on Tuesday afternoon, March 13 to glean some tips and hints from librarian Skye Stapleton on accessing the Trove information database.

While the Tenterfield Star database is accessible through the library and is preferable for local information, senior librarian Jenny Stoker said Trove can often turn up snippets of unexpected information as it contains government gazettes and other documents in addition to newspapers.

She said it would cost many thousands of dollars to transfer the local database over to Trove, and this is not high on the priority list at this stage.

Any piece of the puzzle is useful for building a picture of an ancestor, according to the Tenterfield Family History Group who hosted the event.

Miss Stapleton said the attendees seemed to be motivated by family or local history. Many had already dived into Trove but she provided some techniques for making searches much more focussed. 

She recommends users familiarise themselves with Trove’s search options such as truncation, boolean (testing if something is equal to, greater or less than a value) and wildcards (searching for any name beginning with Smith by using Smith*, for instance).

Her overall advice is to “have fun with it, explore the database and get lost in it.”

Ms Stoker said her librarians are always happy to help visitors with their searches. More workshops could be on the cards if there’s sufficient interest, so let the library know what topics appeal.


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