Altspace Genealogy Family History Meetup Notes – 10 Sep 2018

Our first Genealogy Family History VR Meetup in Altspace was a success. It is believed that this was the first ever genealogy meetup in virtual reality, and much appreciation goes to the awesome events team at Altspace for helping make it a success.

Here are the notes from the meetup.

Recreation of Ireland’s Beyond 2022 VR Project

In 1922, Dublin’s Four Courts Public Record Office building was burned to the ground at the beginning of the Irish Civil War, destroying hundreds of years of birth, marriage, death, and other national to local records and documents. Trinity College Dublin’s School of Histories and Humanities and the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, along with The National Archives of Ireland, The UK National Archives, The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and The Irish Manuscripts Commission are working together on Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury. Their goal is to recreate the original building, complete with access to as many books and records digitized from international collections, in virtual reality.

…Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity, said: “Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury will be a public and academic resource with global reach and impact. This international, collaborative project makes a significant contribution to the national commemorative effort by reuniting collections destroyed by war. It forms part of our strategic research theme ‘Making Ireland’ — a transformative collaboration in Irish studies.

“By reconstructing a lost treasure, Trinity is seeking to create a lasting and meaningful legacy and an invaluable resource for researchers and educators at all levels which will continue to grow beyond 2022. By moving beyond the divisive legacy of the period, the project will also reopen Ireland’s deeper past to the general public at home and in the wider diaspora.”

You can find more information on Facebook and the project site, Beyond 2022.

Upcoming Events

We highly recommend you become involved with your local genealogy and family history society or group. Check out a list of them from the US Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS), FamilySearch Wiki’s List of US Genealogy Societies, and your state and providence historical societies and governments. Also consider joining the Virtual Genealogical Association, a new society based on the web and irrespective of geographic locale.

Rootstech LogoRootsTech has announced two conferences this coming year, one in Salt Lake City, Feb 27-March 2, 2019, and a new one in London, England, Oct 24-26, 2019. The Salt Lake City conference opens registration September 20.

2018 Virtual Genealogy Fair with US Archives.The Annual Free Virtual Genealogy Fair with the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 10AM – 4PM EDT. We will be Live Streaming the day-long event in Altspace, so please join us. Desktop/2D access is recommended.

For information about local and international genealogy and family history events, chek out ConferenceKeeper and their calendar.

Q&A and Things to Know

As this was our first meeting, much of the meeting was spent discussion the future of this meetup.

Please note that because we will have speakers over time as well as educational and informative events, it is good to know that there are two free ways to access Altspace.

  1. Virtual Reality: Using a headset such as Samsung Gear, Oculus Go, Rift, or another, you may participate in 3D, which means your eyes will be covered and it is a challenge to take notes.
  2. 2D/Desktop: Altspace installs directly to your computer or phone as an independent program or app. Once installed, you may enter Altspace in 2D on your Windows or Mac machine, using your mouse and keyboard to navigate, or your phone with the option “without headset.” Both methods are “eyes-free,” meaning your hands are free to type or take notes during the meetup.

Future topics were suggested and included:

  • 3D Tools and Modeling
  • AR Tools and Apps
  • Certification
  • Digitization
  • DNA
  • Genealogy Technology
  • Guest Speakers
  • Industry News
  • Regional Research
  • Research Techniques
  • Society Issues and Challenges
  • Study/Research Groups
  • VR Applications
  • Watch Webinars

Much thanks also goes to my assistant, Darrell Gulstrom, professional genealogist.

The next meeting is 24 Sep 2018 at 6PM PDT. Hope to see you there!

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