Mini Projects-Taking Off ...

Brita, FACHRS Mini Project Co-ordinator gave a presentation at the 2016 Conference about why FACHRS runs Mini Projects which have proven very popular with FACHRS members over the last few years:

Brita started her presentation by talking about how ideas for the mini projects are obtained - they come from members and conversations at the Family History Fairs and in Committee. Once she has a topic she thinks would make a good subject for a mini project; Brita seeks agreement from the FACHRS committee to go forward with it.

(FACHRS mini projects are based around a different occupation each year and have alternated between male and female occupations)

Once agreement is obtained Brita's first task is to create an Information Sheet that the researcher will fill in. The second task is to look on the 1881 census (the first census occupations are searchable) to find each FACHRS member a person to research. This involves Brita with a road atlas as she attempts to get as close a geographical connection between the two as possible. Brita also sets up a spreadsheet to record all the information from the census along with the member's details. From this she then does a mail merge onto the Information Sheet to populate it with the name and census information of the subject.

Once this is done the Information Sheets are posted out in January along with an invitation to join in the project and FACHRS members set to work researching their subject. While this is happening Brita creates a database to record the outcomes of the research.

Brita then talked about the benefits to the members and FACHRS that the committee hope will come out of members taking part in mini projects:

• Learning about new sources
• Developing research skills
• Learning more about the history of the area you live in
• Articles for the FACHRS Newsletter
• Giving Talks
• Writing for other publications
• Continuing research
• Broadening knowledge of the period
• Information and narratives available on the Members Pages

She finished her presentation by reminding everyone that the mini projects run for the calendar year the closing date for each project is mid-December of that year. This allows members to slot the mini project in amongst their own existing research commitments. It also ensures that new members joining FACHRS throughout the year have the opportunity to take part in the current mini project.

In 2017 the subject of the FACHRS mini project is "Victorian Rural Policemen"