The short answer is talks, walks, opportunities to participate in history projects, and good online resources.
ASHG recently conducted a small survey on what history and heritage activities and topics members and locals were interested in. Surveys were handed out at an ASHG monthly meeting, at the Annerley Festival, and at the Memories of Stephen’s conference.
The results of the survey will help us hone our aims with the history room, plan our programs and understand how best to engage people in local history and heritage.
This survey is just a starting point – a guide and point for discussion. From time to time we will check in on how we are doing, or conduct quick online polls.
Activities of interest
People rated their interest in each activity as high, medium and low. Responses were scored 3 for high, 3 for medium, 1 for low and zero if not checked.
Scores were averaged, making ‘3’ the highest possible score. Here are the things you are saying to us:
- Tell us about the history – Guest speakers at the monthly meetings, and history talks scored the highest for everyone, members and non-members.
- Walk us through the streets – Heritage walks rated next. ASHG’s first self-guided walk is being published next week.
- Let us help tell the stories – people are keen to participate in heritage projects. There are many ways people can participate, through activities like:
- researching on Trove, and other online archives
- visiting archives – city, state and national archives, state library and specialty archives
- taking oral histories, telling oral histories,
- exploring family histories
- writing about our heritage
- digital story-telling -sharing stories through video clips, podcasts and posts
- creating tiny exhibitions in our history room’s storefront ‘curiosity cabinet’.
- Make our history easily accessible to us through online publications and websites
- Teach us skills to uncover our history through skills focused workshops
- Keep up conferences and books
Topics of interest
The second part of the survey was topics of interest. These were grouped into categories of history approaches, history areas, periods, places and things and social history.
Topics of high ranking are early 20th century, women, oral history, heritage places and First Nations heritage.
Below the topics are ranked in order based on percentages of those taking the survey. Some of the rankings changed to the above as a few topics were introduced after the test survey.
That’s a quick snapshot of what people want. Our new history room at Yeronga will help us to deliver these things – ASHG just received the key!