Category Archives: Videos

Videos to create, to watch and share for your family or local history project

There is so much information on the web that simple bookmarks aren’t always up to the job of keeping  your family history research notes organised?

With so much data to collect, how can you properly cite your references, tag them and explore possible connections between them? 

In our IT toolkit for Historians series we try to offer-up some alternative online approaches to dealing with the complex data we are collecting.

Below you can see a couple of  contrasting approaches to handling this data, with videos that demonstrate the capabilities of each approach. They are all worth investigating, as with all tools it’s a question of trying them out to find one that suits your purpose.

Tools for family historians

Examples of tools to try include:

  • Evernotes easy and intuitive, very flexible
  • Zotero more of a student and scholars tool, ideal if you really want to build the knowledge base and document your evidential proof and arguments for your history project

Zotero Adding Items Video Demo:

This is a sophisticated and capable tool that is free to use. It has lots of online help and we are wading through it’s vast capabilities.


Evernote Google Chrome Browser Extension Video Demo:

This extension increases ease of use, making, saving and clipping notes seamlessly. You can tag and classify relevant notebooks and synchronise with your other devices. You will need Google Chrome as your browser.

Evernote for Mobile, Android Ipad or Iphone versions as well as Windows and Mac (Safari) are available. This video gives you a demo from the android performance


Way Forward with Toolkit for History Projects and more

Collation and curation of data is a task most family historians have to face up to at some point. We have used both Evernote and Zotero in our own research and find both very useful. Try Evernote first, it is simple and free to use and great for indexing notes. If you want something with a little more rigour then consider Zotero.

Tools across the web have not always integrated very well but in the current phase of development there are  good signs that this is changing.

Gradually tools, such as the above, are being seen as component parts. The software concentrates on being really good at a specific task, which we can then integrate with other great tools. Cloud Computing will help with this, improving levels of integration, sharing and synchronisation.

These tools should be being used extensively by students

Anyone in a learning or research role should be harnessing these tools to assist them to curate the vast amount of material they will be expected to curate, synthesize and cite.

Sadly, even at university level, the take-up of what should be core tools and skills is lagging behind. Make sure you and your family get to share and use the best tools available. As long as you have a net connection, many of these tools are free. As your data grows, you may require some require low subscriptions to cover costs of managing the vast server resources but they are very reasonable, so try the free ones and see how quickly you get hooked!

Secret History of our Streets over 125 years BBC iPlayer

Booth’s 17 year study and survey of Poverty in London produced a ground-breaking set of revelations some 120 years later using 6 archetypal streets what has changed, what has not and why is the subject of this new excellent BBC Series. Ideal for anyone with family social and local history interests whether your subject is London and these streets or not. A collaboration between the BBC and OpenLearn from the OU coinciding with the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics some interesting observations, do we ever learn? more

Great Presentation visual tools to communicate complex ideas and narrative in history

See this good example of just using google and images with simple captions to narrate a history project and projection of the future. Here is the challenge can looking at your history through the images of say a dozen objects attract new interest, communicate effectively, make new connections integrate with maps and timelines and with these new and intriguing connections can you gain some new insights? well worth a look tools tipsan technques to adapt for you and your history project. more

How can you build your own personal online art collection and maybe find some new and intriguing resources and information to enjoy and inform the research for your history project!. Automating some legwork sure worked for me, it is a bit like fishing you need to be patient but it yields results and does much more searching than you could do manually, take a look at the Painting I found for my One Name Study. more

Ancestry’s Genealogy Mobile Apps Update Video for family history and more…

Ancestry Android Iphone and Ipad where are they at and what are they doing, a video update and some resources to explore as alternatives Take a look at MyHeritage Ancestry BillionGraves and a great tool called Evernotes. Anytime anywhere its just great… more

ChronoZoom Project Big History Big Data

History of the Universe, Earth History and Microsoft backed ChronoZoom intriguing history and IT for historians as good as it currently gets, take a look Videos and links… more

Open Data, Linked Data accessible to all and able to be shared analysed and used by us all. Listen to short video from the excellent Nigel Shadbolt and you will soon see why this is relevant and important for anyone interested in history as well as just about every other aspect of life. This is not just blue sky thinking, it’s happening here and now and there are opportunities tog et involved…now more

New Ancestry Website

New Ancestry Website

Is the New and major Ancestry upgrade more like colourful building blocks we all treasured as kids, or more like a battleship grey but none less popular Aeroplane kit, less creative and more prescriptive? Take a look a this excellent new interface and find out how together we might take a fresh look at our toolkit and resources for family history spurred on by this latest competitive leap by Ancestry.

The English Accent and Family History

The English Accent and Family History

What English accent did your ancestors speak with back in Elizabethan England? You might be surprised to learn that an American reciting Shakespeare is nearer to the mark than you or I.

Scotland’s Valuation Rolls

Scotland’s Valuation Rolls

The 1925 Valuation Rolls for Scotland have just been launched by Scotland’s People and are free to search.

People of Northern England Database

People of Northern England Database

The People of Northern England (PONE) database is not new but not much heard about either. This database is of the people in the Northern counties of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland from the C13th. It is drawn from two types of material, one financial and one legal. The financial material is drawn from the pipe…

History Pin WWI Hub

Use the History Pin WWI Hub to share your WWI project and let others connect with what you are doing. Your project may be large or small but by sharing it, many more people will be able to make links and connections with you.

Mapping the London Blitz

Mapping the London Blitz

Mapping the London Blitz is a great project which has used the collated and mapped all the census material of all the bombs dropped during the Blitz 1940 – 1941. It is a fascinating resource for family historians with a connection to WWII.

Red Cross POW Records

Red Cross POW Records

The Red Cross POW records are now digitized and available online to search. For many family historians these records complete the story of their ancestors who served in WWI.

New DNA Studies

New DNA Studies

A new study of European DNA has revealed a third population group that make up the DNA of modern Europeans.

WW1 Postcards

WW1 Postcards

WW1 Postcards a rich resource and a visual opportunity, find out how to discover and use the 20K plus postcards on Europeana for the period 1914-1918 and muse over how you might dig-out what ephemera you might have in your loft or research boxes that might help you and others connect and make that next step n researching your project wehther for your family history social, local or special interest project. In the first year of the 100th centenary of WW1 will there ever be such an opportunity to explore and discover what happened and better understand those momentous events?

Operation War Diary

Operation War Diary

Operation War Diary is a crowd sourced project to classify the WWI diaries of the British Army on the Western Front. A project involving the Imperial War Museum and the National Archive.