Week 5 has been a week of curiosity and conversating. My unsung hero that I feel should have its time to shine is my trusty notebook, always by my side to keep my very forgetful mind right. It has everything in there: to-do lists, contacts, key dates, and strange doodles of cats created by my restless hands. I think they remember my failed career as an artist many moons ago.
Since I have been gathering case studies of examples of ancestral tourism engagement, I set out to find out more by talking to a few kind individuals that work within the industry. I began the week chatting to Anne Fraser, a family historian based at the Highland Archive Centre. She generously answered the questions that I had about ancestral tourism and genealogy, and also gave me tips on how to research my currently infantile family tree. I also chatted to Irene O’Brien from Glasgow Life, who was incredibly friendly and suggested two interesting webinars to attend in the following week: ‘First to return (Glasgow): day visitors and those visiting friends & relatives’ and ‘First to return (Glasgow): Scots, UK and Irish markets’. Doing something as simple as speaking to someone new has been a very educational experience. I am naturally very shy and phone calls have always petrified me, which as I am sure you can imagine, is a bit of a challenge, especially when calls are what we have been relying on these past few months to communicate with the rest of the world. Everyday I have been grateful for the chance to practice this new skill and have actually grown to enjoy them.
Secondly, we have taken further steps to develop the upcoming Webinar, ‘Ancestral Tourism Beyond 2020’ (sign up here), to which we will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for archivists to enhance their engagement with ancestral tourism looking ahead. I have found webinars so heart-warming in a time of global crisis and thank everyone involved for taking time out of their life to continue to enrich, entertain and uplift others in their industry with their knowledge and experiences. With a society that often gets bogged down in technology, we are reminded of its wonders, and I hope we can apply this way of using technology to a post-Covid world to create a place that is more inclusive and educational for all.