Sunday, September 2, 2018
Now That the Dust has Settled
It's been nearly a week since I returned home after the FGS conference, some hands-on research at the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and a grand time with Chicago relatives. You'd think by now, I'd have everything unpacked and in its proper place, but that is easier said than done when the unpacking includes finding the right place for documents gleaned from hundred-year-old family history books.
Then, too, with cost-containment pressures demanding genealogy societies to resort to financial wizardry through eliminating printing of syllabus material, the only way to review the handouts for most conference sessions was to download it and print up the significant entries upon my return home.
Of course, even a genealogist cannot be in more than one place at any given time. If only I could have split myself into clones so I could attend multiple classes scheduled for the same time! My recourse, of course, was to review what was covered via the syllabus. Those classes that caught my eye—but not enough to win my vote for attendance—became the ones I printed up for future reference. After all, each speaker provided a healthy addendum of footnotes or bibliographies.
Since I attended the FGS conference not just for my own edification, but to glean assistance for my role on the board of my local society, such material is invaluable. I always love exploring what resources have been helpful to other researchers, and the FGS syllabus has given me much to think about—even if I wasn't able to attend the classes in question.
I've already met with two board members who were keenly interested in how things went in Fort Wayne. One of them is considering attending a future FGS conference, and took the schedule booklet home to peruse the class offerings. While a trip from our home in California to next year's FGS venue in Washington D.C. might be a stretch, at least we are seeing eye to eye with their choice for 2020: Kansas City.
Conferences present a plethora of material during the few days they are in session—maybe too much of a good thing. Once I get home, I am usually on to the next thing; I hit the ground running. (I've given up on that hope to catch up on my sleep.)
The key is to reserve some time for ourselves afterward to insure that all those gems we caught during the event itself won't lie forgotten in a desk drawer or file folder. While the memory is fresh on our minds, it's time to recall what was important, review, re-sort into a findable storage system so we can remember what we have to access when we need it in the future.