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Heritage Learning Resources - Trust

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Heritage Learning Resources

Learning through heritage develops knowledge and critical thinking, can inspire creativity and gives people of all ages the great enjoyment of discovery

Local and family history classes

Local and family history research is becoming an increasingly popular pastime. There are all sorts of benefits to delving into your ancestors' lives: discovering where you have come from can help you understand family who have lived through different times and under different circumstances, it can help you build relationships with family members or meet others with the same interest, it keeps the mind active, contributes to general health and wellbeing and can help you develop new skills.

However, it can involve quite a bit of detective work and with so much available online, can be quite daunting. Our range of classes and workshops have been developed to help you get started in a welcoming and informal setting.

Come along to our 'Introduction to Ancestry' to get to grips with searching the Ancestry Library Edition website (free to use at your local library) pop in to our 'Local & Family History Drop-In' sessions for advice and if you are terrified of computers but would love to surf the web for family and local history resources then book a place on our 'Family History for Fearties' course. You can see a description of each class under Local and family history classes or visit Portal to the Past to see dates and venues for upcoming sessions.


There are themed events, talk, exhibitions and displays throughout the year which give people of all ages a chance to participate in heritage and access our collection in an informal and relaxed setting.

We can also deliver outreach sessions to local groups and organisations in our libraries or in your own venue. Availability for these visits is limited so we recommend booking as far in advance as possible.

Shanks Exhibition

Class visits

East Renfrewshire schools can arrange class visits to our libraries where young people can access materials that they won't find online or in the classroom. There are pre-prepared sessions available to assist with local area studies but we are happy to discuss how we can help with any other topic or project. Availability for school visits is limited so we recommend booking as far in advance as possible

Online Resources

WW1 in East Renfrewshire: A toolkit for schools

The toolkit is intended to provide library and teaching staff with an adaptable model for a set of learning sessions which allow upper primary school pupils to explore a local history topic. It has been designed to make clear links with the Curriculum for Excellence and also focuses on developing research and presentation skills. It demonstrates the use of new technologies to engage pupils and allow a larger number to access a wider range of resources.

The toolkit consists of a guidance document and supporting material including lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and activity sheets. It is intended that these materials will provide a case study for others and although subject and area specific can, with a bit of revision, be adapted to suit different projects and resources. Although designed for upper primary school classes it would also be suitable for secondary school use.

Portal to the Past is East Renfrewshire's heritage website giving access to local history information, thousands of digitised images and online exhibitions as well as everything you need to know about the heritage services you can access. It is also the gateway to the online catalogue which allows you to explore many of the items in the East Renfrewshire collection.

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