Family History is a growth area for adult learners. The success of television programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? has lead to an upsurge in people carrying out research into their family history. In May 2007 The National History Show at Olympia had a vast number of museums and archives with stalls on family history.


Family History attracts people from all kinds of social and cultural backgrounds. The Culture on Demand audience engagement report found that projects on local identity and everyday life – which are linked to Family History – attracted audiences from lower socio-economic groups and BME communities.


Portraits are an important documentary and visual source for family historians. The best way to assist with portraiture and family history is to provide information on:

  • Dating and reading portraits through clothes, hairstyle, local area etc
  • Background social and historical information.
  • Photographic technologies.


The kinds of portraits used for Family History will usually be army, wedding, school or family photographs.



Some other useful websites and example of good practice are listed below:

  • Bolton Museum and Archives Service have a page dedicated to family history. Link >>
  • Rotherham Museum have put together a Family History Resource Pack. Link >>
  • London Medical Museums have a useful web page with what information is in their archives and collections for researching family history. Link >>
  • Royal Museums Greenwich have made much of its collection available to search online and have a page detailing what information he can provide family history researchers. Link >>
  • 24 Hour Museum published an article on Family History Days for Museums and Galleries Month. Link >>




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