Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Review of the Year

As we approach the end of 2010, we decided to look back on some of the projects the Research Group has worked on, and to look forward to what 2011 may bring.

Our primary project, the Scottish War Memorials Project has continued to add new memorials and additional information throughout the year. As time goes by, the number of “new” memorials to be added has diminished, but there is always information to be added, and new memorials do continue to be found. The number of civic memorials added to the project is something we can feel justifiably proud of, and our focus in the future will be to add memorials from other sources such as churches, places of work and school/colleges.

Memorials continue to make news headlines, and a recent story in the Courier newspaper was cause for cautious celebration, as the memorial to the men of Mains, located in Caird Park in Dundee will hopefully undergo restoration and relocation in 2011. The members of the Research Group can feel some small amount of pride in this, as it was our initial discovery of the condition of the memorial, and our highlighting it to both the media and local interested parties were the opening stages of what has proven to be a long and complicated process. Hopefully the end of the tunnel is in sight for this much neglected memorial.

Our War Graves Project also continued this year, with new grave photographs added on a regular basis. I will admit that I personally have let my involvement in this project slip as I have worked on other things, but 201 will see me attempting to take a more active interest in this project.

Several members of the Research Group spent a lot of time and effort this year working with the University of Edinburgh on a website concentrating on the efforts of people from Edinburgh and the Lothians during the First World War. The Edinburgh’s War website went live in October this year and has been a great success. 2011 should see more work on the website – watch this space!

Looking at our own projects, the Roll of Honour for the city of Glasgow has lain dormant for a little while, but only last week we were able to launch the first batch of surnames from the transcription. 2011 will see us continue to work on this, with a hopefully second batch being released in the spring.

Another new project, the indexing of the Daily Record for the Great War, has been progressing well. I have been working on the issues from 1915 and John Houston has been indexing those from 1917. Between the two of us we now have almost 12 months of indexing completed, and next year will see that work continue. To see a glimpse of how the complete index will look, we recently showcased the index for January 1915. We're always looking for people to assist with the indexing - if you think you can help, please get in touch!

This year also saw this blog making more of an impact – when I started it in late 2008 I saw it as a method of getting news, research items of interest, and articles “out there” where they might be of interest. I’d like to think that now we’ve finally got the correct balance of news items and our own articles –long may this continue into next year and beyond. We’re also hoping that next year will see more “guest authors” writing for the blog – got something to say? Let us know and we’ll post it here!

The final new development was the launch of our Facebook page – I’ve been using Facebook for a while now, and it seemed a sensible move to create a page for the SMRG – early days yet, but fingers crossed it can grow into a useful hub for information.

So…that was 2010. I’ve made mention of a few things in store for next year, but who knows what’s round the corner? I hope you’ll stay with us to see what crops up!

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