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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Find the black sheep in your family
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A Building Being Renovated For Government Archives in 1919 (Image: State Library SA B277)

August is National Family History Month, an Australia wide initiative that aims to promote and help genealogists and family history researchers in their quest for knowledge about the hidden secrets of their past. In South Australia, there are a number of events organised to help amateur historians in their quest for knowledge.

One extremely useful repository of family history information in Adelaide is State Records. It holds all the government archives accumulated by industrious clerks in dusty back offices, dating back to the quill and ink days. There is massive a number of records, from birth, death and marriage certificates to employment records, and some very salubrious court records. You can even learn about people once incarcerated in Z Ward at Glenside, although patient privacy is carefully protected.

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The Welcoming Entrance to State Records Research Centre at Gepps Cross (Image Supplied)

Unfortunately much of the information in government archives have not been digitised, so if you're searching for truths, a trip to State Records' Research Centre at Gepps Cross is usually on the cards.

To help those of us joining in National Family History Month, State Records is holding a free open day at its Gepps Cross research centre on Sunday 12th August, from 10am-4pm. Bookings are essential and are easily made online here.

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You're Welcome at the Genealogy SA Research Centre at Unley

The Open Day is designed to introduce family historians to the State Records collection and to show how the collection can be useful to their family history research. It also aims to demystify the work of a government archive. This time the folk at State Records are being joined by their colleagues at National Archives of Australia, and the lovely people from Genealogy SA. The free Archives Open! event will allow family historians access to a one-stop shop, where they can learn about a variety of collections and resources available for family history research.

Take a look at the free things to do at Archives Open!
State Records talk on using the collection for family history research
Genealogy SA talk which is likely to be an overview of their resources and services, and how they can be used by family historians
National Archives of Australia NAA) talk about their collection, and how they can be used by family history hunters
NAA and Genealogy SA staff will also be available following their talks to offer free advice to researchers
Digitisation demonstrations, taking people behind the scenes to demonstrate State Records' digitisation program in action
Behind the scenes tours, where you can take a sneak peek into the repository of knowledge. See first hand the sheer size of South Australia's largest archival collection and view some of the hidden treasures.
Sausage sizzle to help satisfy your hunger for more information (gold coin donation for the White Ribbon charity).
The State Records research centre will also be open on the day, with staff on hand to assist with research enquiries and viewing of original records available.

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See Informative Displays at State Records Research Centre (Image Supplied)

What more can the seeker of family history truths ask for? Just remember that there are a lot of people out there hungry for more information about their ancestors, and there are only limited places available when the Archives Open! If you don't book a place soon, you probably will miss out!

For more details about State Records and their free Open Day, please see their website and Facebook page.

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Why? It's fun getting lost in the archives
When: 10am - 4pm
Where: 115 Cavan Road Gepps Cross SA 5094
Cost: Free!
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