On Monday all the participants met up and went to The Rooms at PANL and the Maritime History Archives at MUN for orientations given by the Archivist at each facility.
A view of The Rooms - PANL - A Great Place to Research!
A view from the inside of The Rooms
PANL is an amazing purpose-built museum and archives overlooking St. John's. The building was designed to resemble a fishing room and the views are spectacular. The Rooms provides a comfortable, spacious and lovely area to conduct genealogy research. The entire staff is friendly, helpful and willing to provide suggestions to assist with your research both at PANL and at other facilities located in St. John's. Their website is very informative (be sure to check out their family history page) and a summary of their holdings is listed on-line. You can get a head start on locating documents and microfilm by planning ahead and they can also assist with distance research. If you are planning a research trip to St. John's, check out their website at The Rooms.
The Maritime History Archives - right on the MUN Campus
The Maritime History Archives is located in the basement of the Mathematics Building at MUN. Although it does not have the grandeur of The Rooms, their Archivists and their holdings are outstanding. Both the Ryan and the Matthews collections are maintained here (be sure to check out their digitized collections online) as well as student papers relating to numerous Newfoundland communities and families. There are several indices to help you locate information. Be sure to check out The Maritime History Archives.
During the remainder of the week, participants choose whether to research at PANL or MUN and were provided with transportation from the hotel to either site. Some participants branched out on their own and went to the Crown Records Office, the Land Records Office, local churches, or the Centre for Newfoundland Studies (also on the MUN Campus). During the week I focused on researching at PANL and the Maritimes History Archives. I had a very good experience researching at both locations but I honestly think I would have had the same experience had I gone to St. John's on my own. The City tour and the Whale Watch Puffin Boat tour were both very informative and enjoyable. I do think that the City tour would have been better scheduled on the first day of our trip rather than the last day and it would have served as an ice-breaker of sorts among the participants. I would definitely suggest that anyone going to St. John's take in a bus or walking tour to get a feel for the layout of City early on in their stay.