PRESS RELEASE: Reflections on a life in genealogy and migration history

Ulster Architectural Heritage partner with the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies to empower individuals, communities and groups to Learn How To? Read, Record & Research Heritage.

On Saturday 6th November, UAH were kindly hosted by the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies for a day of reading, recording and researching heritage. The event was part of the Hands on Heritage project, managed by UAH and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund; and it celebrated the launch of a series of free Heritage: How To? Guides which offer advice and guidance on key themes and frequently asked questions on historic buildings and places.

The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies served as a suitable venue for the phased launch of UAH’s first Heritage How To? Guides: Read, Record & Research Heritage. One of nine specialist heritage collections within Libraries NI, the Centre houses an impressive array of over 18,000 volumes, historic maps, periodicals and a virtual archive entitled the Irish Emigration Database.

The rain did not deter event participants, with attendees gathering from the surrounding area and further afield, each with an interesting array of backgrounds, from heritage professionals to enthusiasts. Facilitated by Dr Liam Campbell, Director of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, and Dr Paddy Fitzgerald, attendees participated in two workshops to help them explore the theme of reading, recording and researching heritage. This is anything from analysing a building type and its setting, or assessing a building’s age and condition, to finding out the history and personal stories connected to historic buildings or places through a number of online and archival resources.

Within the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies library, workshop one explored the tools necessary to help read the landscape, particularly focussing on local distinctiveness, and sharing informal, yet thought provoking discussions around oral histories.

Workshop two focussed specifically on the Old World of the Ulster American Folk Park (NMNI); dissecting building typologies and the social history associated with the likes of the Single Room Cabin, Mountjoy Meeting House, Campbell House and the Schoolhouse.

The day concluded with a roundup of the key themes that arose throughout the day.

The series of free guides covering reading, researching and recording heritage are available to order in print, or to download online via the Hands on Heritage website. This was the first in a series of in-person events which offer the opportunity to discover more about Northern Ireland’s heritage, with a number of online and in-person events taking place in the coming weeks, alongside the launch of additional guides covering the maintenance of historic buildings and traditional skills.

Keep up to date with the latest news and events. Follow @heritage_ni @ulsterahs #HandsOnHeritageNI #HeritageHowTo or check