August is National Family History Month (NFHM) in Australia and New Zealand, and to say that people have been hanging out for genealogy events due to the COVID-19 lockdowns is probably an understatement. Australia has already seen the easing of some restrictions, while New Zealand has eliminated the coronavirus and has now lifted all restrictions except for the border closures.
During the past few months of self isolating, many people have either started their family history journey, or have picked it back up after having quite a break from it. Simply it’s been the perfec opportunity to get back into it.
And now along with the easing of restrictions, local genealogy groups, societies, libraries and museums are starting to re-open their doors. So with National Family History Month coming up, why not use this as a way to highlight your organisation, and show off what you have, and how you can help?
No matter if you are a newbie or have been researching for years, the aim of NFHM is to provide information and events for family historians to meet and to help their research. While it may not be the usual NFHM due to current restrictions, rest assured there will still be events.
The organisers say that …
“The Executive of the Australian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) met recently to consider what NFHM for 2020 might look like. They noted that it is the Australian and New Zealand local administrations and health officials who are responsible for deciding when and how restrictions are to be relaxed, and that most events are organised and managed by libraries, societies and other organisations. The Executive have decided it will encourage organisers to make their own decisions about the type of events and venues that are appropriate to local circumstances.”
And they have just announced that the NFHM website is active and ready for events to be listed. Organising groups are able to enter events now … and as it’s an all new website, organisations should find it easier to create events.
So to Australian and New Zealand genealogy and history organisations, I urge you to get involved. It is important for the public to see, hear and learn about the local genealogy and historical organisations that they can access.
If you are concerned about the restrictions, by all means get creative and and highlight your collections, hold a seminar, a book launch, a tour, a Q&A session or any number of other events virtually or with a liminted number of people at any one time. There’s a whole month to fill with events, so why limit your group to just one?
For organisations simply head to https://familyhistorymonth.org.au/ to get started. Then register and login, and look near the bottom right of the home page. Please note: none of the previous login details were able to be kept.
They have announced that this year the NFHM openin and closing events will be virtual. There will also be some prizes available for organising groups, and for individuals.
So diary date it … 1-31 August 2020 … and keep an eye on their website to see what events are coming up in your area (or virtually), that you’d like to attend.