A Practical Guide to Using Online Archives

Event Date:
Start at 12:00 AM
February 12, 2022 - February 26, 2022

This course will provide a practical overview to using online archives and enable participants to research their own projects online. The course will cover practical tips on using online newspaper databases, specialist online archives such as wrecksiteEU and RNLI periodical database. It will also give guidance on using the major government archives Heritage Gateway, Canmore and Coflein

Participants will be required to complete the homework tasks in between the two sessions to earn NAS credits.


Mel Taylor is an experience researcher, avocational archaeologist and diver

Sheilah Openshaw has many years’ experience of archival research and runs the NAS Members’ Research Group


The course is aimed at individuals undertaking the NAS Education Programme, either professional or avocational archaeologists who are interested in learning how to use the vast array of archival sources that are available online.

NAS members will receive 10 credits towards their Certificate or Award


A computer or tablet (phone screens are a bit small to look at for the whole day) with a good internet connection is essential. A built-in or external webcam and microphone are optional. A week before the course you will receive an invitation to the online course session which will be run through GoToMeeting. This is an online video conferencing programme that can be run directly through the internet or you get better connection if you download the small programme – it only takes a minute to do.

If you are concerned about your computer set up, please contact the organiser at education@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org for a test run before the course.


NAS members £40

Non-NAS members £80 (although as NAS membership starts at £12, you’re better off becoming a member and getting the discount rate immediately!)


Two live online sessions two weeks apart with homework to complete in between the sessions. This will allow for a shorter live online to reduce screen fatigue and will also coordinate better with multiple time zones for international participants.

Saturday 12th February 2022

09.30 Introductions and online etiquette

09.45 Overview of course – available online archives

10:15 Online researchers beware – know your sources

10.30 Government repositories – pre-recorded videos from govt officials

11.15 Questions and tea break

11.30 Online newspapers

12.30 Example exercise

13.00 End of day

Homework Practical activity – searching the archives so far

Saturday 26th February 2022

09.30 Review of practical activity

10.00 Useful online databases

11.00 Introduction to Lloyd’s Resources

11.30 Lunch break and practical activity 2

12.30 Review of practical activity

13.00 Using online archive databases and ordering ahead

13.30 Discussion/Questions

13.45 Getting involved with NAS

14.00 Course finish