Sunday, July 2, 2017

A week to remember

Genealogy institutes are a hybrid between national conferences (lasting a few days with something new every hour or two and attendance in the thousands) and regular college courses (lasting a semester or so). At institutes (attendance in the dozens or hundreds), several courses are offered but genealogists spend five days in just one of their choice. Compared to conferences, there's more time to focus, and more opportunities to find like-minded friends, but not as many topics covered. I've been a fan ever since I first discovered them in 2009 in Salt Lake City and Birmingham.

At the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) last week, Kimberly Powell and I taught the third iteration of the course "From Confusion to Conclusion" on writing proof arguments -- with great help from William Litchman, Karen Stanbary, and Melissa Johnson, plus a cameo appearance by retiring New York Genealogical and Biographical Record editor Karen Jones.

 Our students were outstandingly inquisitive. Two of them -- Pam Anderson and Shannon Green -- will soon have articles published in the June National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and so were obliged to host the traditional GRIP Thursday night party. (This is Pittsburgh -- we don't do banquets.)

It's a small and intense world but big news still percolates in: this was the week FamilySearch announced the end of microfilm loans. Meanwhile GRIP keeps rolling along, with three separate week-long sessions and several new courses on tap for 2018, including various levels of DNA studies.

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