Saturday, September 5, 2009

FGS Recap 3

I hoped to keep doing daily recaps of my adventures during the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, but I got too busy cramming everything into each day. What you get instead is a recap of my observations. Lucky you.

The last 2 days, I attended several sessions that dealt with the records of Arkansas. The Arkansas History Commission website is, and boy do they like their site's name. It is clever, but they really do think it is clever. I attended several sessions about a single repository because they were led by different people and I wanted to hear several perspectives of the same place. I did learn that they've put a priority on preservation. This means that they're concentrating more on saving / documenting / recording items and less on making them available online at the moment. I can't say I disagree. There were also a handful of audience comments on parking. It must be pretty bad if the audience brings it up in multiple sessions. I was told the trick was to get their early (before government employees get to work) or get there at lunch (when city/county/state govt. employees head to lunch).

I also attended a session on Louisiana state archives. The presentation utilized an overhead projector and transparencies, so it was difficult to envision the web site. The speaker said that the archives web site has no pubic online library catalog. I didn't believe it, so I checked for myself. I've been battling the hotel's slow Internet, but the speaker appears to be right. Hard to believe.

Yesterday I also went to sessions on North Carolina and Tennessee records. Both presentations were led by J. Mark Lowe. Both were excellent. Lowe knows his stuff and presents his knowledge in an engaging way.

I also enjoyed conversations and meals with many other genealogists. The networking and social opportunities are my favorite part of any conference, including this one.

The exhibit hall is a little emptier as I also bought several books. I didn't win any vendor prizes, though. Clearly a mistake has been made...

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