27 April 2010

NGS in Salt Lake--It's ok if you can't go

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to attend the NGS conference in Salt Lake this week. And you know what, it's ok if you are at home. While there is no doubt that conferences can be fun to attend, your research will not suffer because you are home. It is important to remember that much genealogy learning can take place in your own home or local records repositories. There will be a lot of online news about the conference and that's great, but after Saturday, the hubbub will die down and everything will return to normal.

Don't forget there are books, websites, newsletters (Casefile Clues!) and blogs that you can use to assist you in your genealogical education. There are online classes, including those sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. There are a great many serious, dedicated and respected genealogists who are not in Salt Lake this week. This is not meant to say that you shouldn't try to attend a national conference, but all of us are simply not in a position to go and it's not the end of the world.

Personally if I could go to a three-day conference or have three days of uninterrupted research at a state archives or national archives, I think I know where I would be.

So what can you do this week if you can't attend NGS? Read a journal article (your local library may subscribe to scholarly genealogical publications), read a research outline from the Family History Library (http://www.familysearch.org), or re-analyze some of your own research (and write it up!). Post a query to a message board, or work on a family you've put off for some time. Work on learning how to create citations or reading those records in a foreign language.

In other words, create your own personal learning experience.

Of course, you can also subscribe to Casefile Clues, my weekly how-to newsletter. This week we are offering all the back issues 1-39 and an annual subscription at a discounted rate--the "Michael's NOT at NGS Discount."

Topics in issues 1-39 can be viewed here..click "Back" to return to this post.