The wider context of our family and cultural history demands a wide sweep in web search. In this post see what a treasured find can emerge with a little help from the online tools outside the standard family history sites. The Social Networks are also rather good for us ‘wannabe’ #history boffs. These techniques have directly helped me with my One-Name Study not only for this particular purpose to  find of an artwork  of a family member but in a wider and richer context to better understand the times in which our ancestors lived.

The Treasured Find of a Picture that is worth a thousand words!

The objects and artworks and artefacts from a time, are keys to better understanding the time and being obviously visual they help to bring alive the subject. The  BBC’s History of the World in 100 Objects with the British Museum but also with the new production about 20 objects as keys to understanding the history of Shakespeare’s times on BBC Radio 4 are prime examples.

Here’s a screenshot as an example of what can be found and how the IT helped make the discovery for me.

A painting found via My Pictures website and a few tools tips and techniques







This is Matthias Sidney Smith DIPNALL, who is of interest to my Guild of One Name Studies project  on the DIPNALL DIPNOL, DIPNELL name, which is in it’s early days. This is my work in progress family history one name website DIPNALL Site

Google Alerts: automatically searching Google and listing results of possible matches with text phrases I am interested in. This proactively searches as new pages are indexed and sends you email alerts and links either daily, as they happen,weekly etc  or as you decree. (We will do a quick post on that later.)

  • Links from a friend at Edinburgh University (doing an MSc in ELearning ) to, a great resource for collecting your own world famous artworks and organising them in your own personally curated collections. This is a great resource in itself (and a post to follow in this series on Artfinder.)
  • Press Article in London24:  telling us about a way unseen works were being put online so we can all see the art we own as a nation, that is public property. (BBC and PCF Public Catalogue Foundation.) explaining the context in which the new project called your Paintings had been released. This was also located using Hootsuite (post to follow in this series)  to scan read a pretty wide range of social network sources quite speedily. Saves lots of time.
  • BBC Your Paintings Site: bring the nation’s art stored in archives, with not enough room or money to display it all live in a gallery, making it accessible and using Crowdsourcing to help tag and catalogue the collections. Quite an opportunity for anyone interested in history and creating collections curated to suite your particular interests. (Further posts to follow.)

I am so grateful for all the hardwork across the web that made this minor moment of a miracle and a Eureka moment special for me, we will be posting some resources to show just how easily this can be done. A bit like fishing you have to be patient but using the technology to do what it does best, has got to be a good way to maximise what you get out of your own project.

We are planning to hold a couple of Google+ Hangouts on some of these and other capabilities and if you are interested then please joining our Google+Group IT for FH and Historians and we will keep you posted! Or simply just Contact Us.

Footnote: have a look at Christs Hospital, and more can be found and will follow on the Blue Coats and the Dipnall Association on Intriguing History and

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