It occurred to me, as I was writing an article on the subject of the conference for the upcoming issue of FORUM, that I hadn’t yet blogged about the conference. Better late than never, I suppose, so here we go!
The 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference has just ended, but planning is well underway for the 2016 conference, which will be held August 31 to September 3, 2016 in Springfield, Illinois. The press release below is the call for presentations, which are due by April 10, 2015.
February 13, 2015 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a Call for Presentation Proposals for the FGS 2016 Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” to be held in Springfield, Illinois, Aug 31 – Sept 3, 2016. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are within walking distance of the Prairie Capital Convention Center, the conference venue. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Illinois State Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Friday, 10 April 2015.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 11-14, 2015. The early registration deadline has been extended to Monday, January 26, so if you haven’t registered yet, head over and do so to save some $$$.
Since one of my passions is writing, I always try to compile a list of writing-related sessions at the major genealogy conferences. So here’s the list for FGS 2015, along with the topics related to preservation, since these topics sometimes go hand-in-hand. The full schedule can be viewed here. If you are attending RootsTech in conjunction with the FGS conference, you might also want to review my post Writing-Related Sessions at RootsTech 2015.
Wednesday, February 11
Just received word that the early registration deadline for the 2015 FGS Conference has been extended through Monday. See full press release below.
January 23, 2015 – Austin, TX. The early registration discount for the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference has been extended to midnight (MST), Monday, January 26. This extension allows three more days to register at $159 for the full four days of the conference coming up February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech.
If you are planning to attend either the FGS 2015 Conference or the 2015 Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City come February, you will likely want to swing around the corner and get some research in at the Family History Library. Having visited the FHL a few times (and once during a Rootstech conference), I thought I’d share a few tips with you for getting the most out of your visit.
This is actually two tips in one. First, you’ll want to figure out about how much time you will be able to spend at the FHL. Will you be there are few extra days before or after the conference? Have you gone through the schedule for the conference(s) you are attending to see if there are pockets of time to squeeze in an hour or so of research? Note, I have not heard about extended hours, and according to the schedule as of today, the FHL will have regular hours during the conference (they will be open on Monday, February 16, which is President’s Day).
Once you have figured out about how much time you’ll have for research, you can start combing through your to-do lists, research plans, etc. Pick enough items to keep you busy to make the most of your time at the FHL. You may want to have a list of high priority items, as well as a list of other things ready to go just in case you have extra time. Keep in mind that with two major events right around the corner at the convention center, drawing in tons of people, the FHL will be BUSY!
If you have research that involves films that are in the vault, you will need to order them. Be sure to do this Day 1 to ensure you have enough time to get the film and review it. Any one of the staff or volunteers can direct you in how to order these films.
When the FHL is super-busy, I tend to take high-quality photos of the microfilm (and even books), since the digital microfilm scanners are usually occupied. You might want to consider this option, especially during the conferences (and don’t forget to bring plenty of memory cards for your camera). If you do take your chances with the scanners, be sure to have a few USB flash drives to save your digital images (or cash if you plan to make paper copies). As an aside, when using the scanners, please abide by the FHL’s time limit.
You’ll also want to bring whatever it is that you use while conducting research on-site, whether it’s paper files/notebook, a tablet, a laptop, or a combination. I seem to go back and forth with bringing my laptop to the library or just bringing my Kindle. It sort of depends on what I’m working on. I have been able to get by for a week’s worth of research at the FHL with just my Kindle, using the Families app designed to work with Legacy Family Tree (you can read about my experience here; also there is a similar app that works with GEDCOM files, which you can read about here). The last time I was at the FHL, I was working on a specific case and I needed access to a variety of files that were stored on my laptop, so I usually had that with me at the library. Bring whatever you need to effectively work on the research you plan to do.
This is also a conference tip. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, both at the conference and the library. Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes. Additionally, the temperature can fluctuate at both the convention center and the library, so dress in layers to keep comfortable.
Take advantage of the research consultants that are available on each floor of the FHL. If you are stuck on a problem or need helping reading a foreign language, this is the time to ask. And do it right away. The sooner you ask for help and get some guidance, the more time you can spend working on it at the library. Waiting until the last minute to consult with these fantastic people puts you is a position where you’ll likely have to wait until your next trip to follow up (or order films to your local Center and miss out on additional help from the experts).
Because the library will be busy, it can feel a little chaotic. If you’re like me and can’t focus with all the craziness around you, try to scope out a spot that’s quiet. I like spots with little foot traffic, preferably on the end of a row (otherwise I feel claustrophobic). Another tip—go to the International floor. This is usually the quietest floor (and there is usually less of a wait for the scanners). You CAN bring films from other floors down to the International floor, you just have to remember to return them to the correct floor/spot.
That about sums up my six tips for visiting the Family History Library, particularly during a busy time in conjunction with a conference. If you have other tips, please feel free to share them by leaving a comment below.
As FGS Ambassadors, we get monthly blogging prompts to help us spread the word about upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences. This month, it’s all about what the 2015 conference theme “Connect.Explore.Refresh” means to us.
Genealogy conferences in general allow us the opportunity to connect, explore, and refresh. FGS conferences are certainly no exception, and I always look forward to their conferences to do those three things.
I received the following press release from FGS this morning. With the 2015 FGS Conference right around the corner, they are looking for people to help spread the word. The FGS Ambassador program was started in 2013 for the conference in Ft. Wayne. Bloggers, social media gurus, writers, and the like are invited to become ambassadors (benefits are listed below). You do not have to have a blog or plan to attend the conference to participate. I participated in 2013, but with my chaotic life over the last several months, I could not commit to 2014; I do however plan to get in the mix again for 2015. Will you join me?
Full details are in the press release below.