Society of Genealogists | Oct 4, 2021, 9:27 AM

SoG Secures Art Fund Reimagine Grant

We're delighted to announce that we're one of just 22 organisations to secure a grant from the Art Fund's Reimagine pot.

Art Fund, the national charity for art, announced today that it has awarded £658,331 in the first round of £2million Reimagine grants for 2021. The support will go to museums, galleries, historic houses, trusts and networks and enable them to develop access, expertise and digital capacity.

We're ecstatic to have received a staggering £50,000 to fund our Pedigree Rolls Project - ‘Reimagining how we work and engage with people'.

Our 8,000 Pedigree Rolls tell the stories of many extraordinary lives of ordinary people of every race, place, class and creed. Conserving and making these family trees available to many people is challenging due to their size, age, fragility, and handwritten nature. In collaboration with Academics at Imperial College and Socially Bright, leading-edge software will be developed to make these unique family trees available to people in an engaging and virtual way.

We're looking forward to progressing this important digitisation project to enable our members to access this wonderful collection in a truly unique way.

What are the Pedigree Rolls?

Pedigree Rolls are rolled pedigree charts also known as genealogies, or family trees. We have around 8,000 handwritten family trees in our collection.

These have been collected by the Society over the last 100 years. Some are typical small trees, while others are huge, heavily researched trees with thousands of names.

We have already found evidence of fascinating characters and some rather barbed comments within the trees. On one pedigree these include an ‘Extravagant Dandy’ who died a bankrupt and his brother who was described as a ‘Ne’er do well’.

More about the Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. In response to Covid-19, Art Fund made £3.6 million in urgent funding available to support museums through reopening and beyond including Respond and Reimagine grants to help meet immediate need and reimagine future ways of working. A further £2million has been made available for the 2021 Reimagine grant programme.

Notes and comments

Please contact Emma Jolly for more information about this article

Upcoming talks and courses

Same Sex Love, 1700–1957: History and Research Sources for Family Historians
19 February

Family history is often seen predominantly as the stories of people who were part of a traditional family unit, living their lives as ‘normally’ as possible. But what of the relatives who could not accept that this was the life for them?

Gill Rossini will discuss the challenges of same sex historical research, offer guidance on how to approach and interpret those sources, and highlight what can be done to bring vividly to life these often elusive ancestors.


Music Halls to the Seaside & Football: The Victorians Invented Mass Entertainment
12 February

Do you think of your Victorian ancestors as a stodgy, boring bunch? It’s easy to think of them as hard-working, quite religious, serious people. After all, they were responsible for a staggering amount of innovation and research.

So, when they weren’t working, how did they spend their time? Join Dr. Judy Hill and learn more about the Victorians’ daily lives and interests.

Scottish Family History Research: Resources before 1800
19 February

Chris Paton takes us to pre-1800 Scotland, when things begin to get a little more complicated with our ancestral research. From kirk to state, a variety of records are available, but it's one thing to find them, and quite another to understand them.

Chris will explore the various record types available, and how to access them both online and offline.

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