The McManus 168 group are celebrating Scotland's first ever Heritage Awareness Day with a fresh appeal for volunteers to get involved in their research project.
Launched in June this project to research the original 261 subscribers who contributed to The Albert Institute, now known as The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum, is well under way. The Heritage Lottery funded project is part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the museum which was established in 1867. More volunteers are needed to find out about the men and women who made the founding of this iconic building possible.
Working with a team including historians Professors Jim Tomlinson and Chris Whatley, city archivists and other experts, the volunteer researchers have the opportunity to delve into the archives and records to discover the stories behind the subscribers' names. The research groups with volunteers new to heritage work and experienced researchers meet regularly over a 6-8 week period in their local library.
One of our current volunteers said
"My first experience of this sort of research had been fascinating. I have been able to access lots of information about two very different Dundee subscribers and had been amazed to find a wealth of information in the Local History section of Dundee City Library, the University of Dundee and City Archives as well as the Scotland's People and Ancestry websites. All the staff at the library and archives have been extremely helpful, as were the Lead Researchers who have supported our group and made it fun!"
Merle Palmer, Project Coordinator said
"Heritage Awareness Day provides us with a great opportunity to appeal for new volunteers. Anyone who lives in or near Dundee can get involved to uncover the hidden stories of the individuals who helped make The McManus possible. You'll learn new skills and be signposted to the wealth of local material held in the library, city and university archives"
The information will be available for free and accessible to all through the project website after the project ends in May 2018.
The next groups will start in late October and there are still opportunities to be a lead researcher (if you have historical research experience) or a novice researcher for volunteers who have no previous experience but are keen to learn. The project team are also interested in hearing from any voluntary group looking for a new team activity or from school pupils keen to discover more about the history of Dundee.
Anyone interested in taking part in the McManus 168 project or wants to hear more can contact Project Coordinator Merle Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org