Finding the dearly departed of Canterbury

Christchurch City Libraries prides itself on providing a wide range of family history resources to its customers. These include microfilm, newspapers,  electronic resources and our very own informed staff.

One of these electronic resources is Christchurch Cemeteries Database. This resource is a great start when exploring your Cantabrian ancestors. It covers interments in the Christchurch City Council cemeteries (but not privately owned cemeteries such as St Peter’s, Upper Riccarton, or the Avonside Anglican Cemetery). It allows you to explore local information first before taking on resources such as Ancestry and Find My Past that cover genealogical information from further afield.

Although  the Central Library is closed due to earthquake damage the Family History Centre at Central Library Peterborough specialises in Christchurch and Canterbury family history information if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for.

You can access this and many other electronic family resources at the Source using your library card number and PIN.

Small is beautiful

Book cover: The Library Book My library seems to be filling up with large and beautiful coffee table books at the moment (I have a strong suspicion that other libraries are sneaking them in here at night, when we aren’t looking).  They ARE beautiful, with their giant pages, shiny covers, and gorgeous multi-page spreads of breathtaking photographs of exotic places. But they don’t make my heart beat faster.

Instead, and being the contrary kind of girl that I am, I am finding myself drawn to the other end of the spectrum. Beside my bed is a slim volume of short stories by A.S. Byatt; in my bag is a copy of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand; I recently finished re-reading Dan Rhodes’ Gold and Little Hands Clapping, and earlier in the year read and loved Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. I keep putting Alan Bennett’s Smut and The Uncommon Reader on the Staff Picks shelf, and I have just picked up The Library Book from the holds shelf.

I don’t know what it is about my current state of mind that is making me drawn to these wee jewels – at under 200 pages each, they certainly don’t keep me reading for very long, and I have to make sure I have at least two or three around all the time in case I finish one before my lunch break is over, but I can’t seem to go past them. Subject matter isn’t important, and neither is a fact-or-fiction differentiation. They DO have to be hard-backed copies to catch my eye, but apart from that it seems I am not fussy at all. I can quite happily dismiss the great solid tomes that everyone is carting around right now, but show me a tiny story and I have to have it.

Help me out here, folks.  Point out the common thread, so I can make sense of my addiction, and then feed it by suggesting more tiny titles …