Up to 15 people a week head to the Orange City Library to investigate their family history.
Librarian Sean Brady said people were no longer satisfied with just finding out birth, death and marriage dates and addresses of where ancestors lived in Orange.
“They want to find out what is the story behind their family,” he said.
“Yes they had a farm, but what was on that farm, what did they grow?”
The library now has an extensive collection of records and censuses dating back to colonial times, newspaper files for the Orange Leader back to 1899 and online access to national and international records.
“We’ve got a fairly rich collection here,” he said.
And with all that interest in the community it stood to reason that Orange would be selected to host the annual NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies Conference.
Actor and author William McInnes will be the keynote speaker for more than 300 family and local historians coming to Orange for the conference on September 22-24.
There will be 350 people, booking accommodation, eating at Orange restaurants, cafes and pubs.Cr Ron Gander
Orange City Council Services Policy Committee chair Cr Ron Gander said there would be presentations, workshops and exhibitions in the Civic Theatre, the library, the art gallery and the museum.
“There will be 350 people booking accommodation, eating at Orange restaurants, cafes and pubs and shopping in the CBD.”
He said it was the first time Orange would host the annual conference.
Central West Libraries manager Jan Richards said topics would include how to date photos and how to preserve history.
“Highlights include female convict stories, gaolbird ancestors, using food to tell the family story and dating family portraits using fashion.”
You need to register online at https://yourfamilystoryinorange.wordpress.com/ to attend the conference.
An early bird discount for tickets closes on July 3.
There will also be a free family history fair in the library with displays by family history societies and related suppliers on September 22.