The Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com is 276 databases from Archive CD Books Australia and contains material from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji and the Cook Islands. These databases will be added to the 100 Archive CD Books Australia databases launched last week. These collections include more directories, reference materials, family histories, military records, newspapers and court records. Click here to view the databases.
One collection, the South Australian Police Gazette 1862-67, was compiled to be distributed among the police force only. Police Gazettes contain details and information that can’t be found anywhere else. Produced at regular intervals (usually once a week), it was a way of making information available to all in the Police Force throughout the whole state.
The information contained in the Police Gazettes does vary a little from year to year, but overall there are details of any changes within the police force that are all listed (promotions, demotions, discharges, resignations, deaths). Information is also given on housebreak-ins, robberies, arson, murders, deserted seamen, warrants issued, prisoners discharged, missing friends, lost and found items and more. One can find the physical details on persons listed here, missing, wanted or released, which helps to paint a picture of them (name, aliases used, age, height, color hair, color eyes, distinguishing features, even color clothing worn). Far from being just a unique and extremely fascinating resource for local, family and social historians – they are useful for anyone with an interest in South Australia in the 1860s.
Another collection, the Victorian Government Gazette-1859, contain a vast amount of historical and genealogical information. However they are largely an untapped resource. The few complete runs that are available are usually only found in major libraries. And even for researchers who do have access to these the sheer size and extent of the Gazettes is daunting. These gazettes offer researchers much more than simply names and places. They help reconstruct events and circumstances in the life of individuals and communities.
One of the featured collections, the Cyclopedia of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Cook Islands-1907 is divided into two main sections. The first contains a cyclopedia of Fiji and the second contains smaller cyclopedias of Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti and the Cook Islands. These cyclopedias are a vast resource of historical and biographical information on the islands concerned. They are very similar to the cyclopedias for each Australian state although less comprehensive. Cyclopedias generally include information on the history, the people, the industries and trade, the culture and the geography of the island group concerned. They include hundreds of illustrations, the larger number of these being portraits of those whose biographies are included. These are not just the rich and famous, but include a high percentage of the ordinary citizens in each community.
The Archive CD Books Australia has partnered with WorldVitalRecords.com to make these and other databases available online to a wider audience.