Gloucestershire Local History Documents Online (or GlosDocs for short) is an experimental project of the Gloucestershire Local History Association which enables any member group to “self publish” material online. This might be complete articles, exhibition displays, research notes, image collections, maps, transcriptions, online versions of out of print publications or any other type of document.
This facility is not intended to replace the publishing of books, journals, monographs and pamphlets in hardcopy format which many groups do very successfully. However, GlosDocs makes available online, valuable material compiled by groups, which cannot be published in hardcopy format due to the constraints of printing costs and distribution. Furthermore very large documents and image collections can be accommodated which are likely to be too big for a groups own website (which would provide links to the material on GlosDocs.) One way of thinking about the site is that it is an “electronic filing cabinet” where each group can manage its “own drawer”. The aim is that if you can use a word processor and book a holiday online then you will be able manage your part of GlosDocs!
The idea for the website came about at a GLHA Local History Day, where as usual, there were some excellent displays by groups on view. A lot of hard work had gone into researching and mounting the displays and it seemed a great pity that they could not have a wider audience. Fortunately this coincided with the emergence of low-cost web space and the availability of suitable open source (“free”) software to handle it online. It was also immediately clear that the scope should be widened as described above.
Perhaps, the best way to learn about the site to take a look (glosdocs.org.uk). Try terms like canal, Stonehouse, Painswick, Redler, Conway-Jones, industrial archaeology in the search box. Just like a Google search you will get a list of ‘hits’ which you can click on to take you to the relevant “index page” This will give you information about (and links to) the documents available for that topic (normally in PDF format).
The Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology have uploaded a digitised version of the first minute book of the Thames and Severn Canal company (1783-1822) which contains more that 360 pages and is proving popular with canal historians. We have several more volumes to follow. You will find the Local History displays from Stonehouse Local History Group and your group’s could also be put here! At this stage of the project we are happy to advise on the preparation of material and even upload it for you. Please contact the author on 01453 860595 or email@example.com for more details