Genealogy skills, New England historic resources focus of 2010 RUSA Midwinter Institute

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA

(312) 280-4398


For Immediate Release

October 6, 2009

CHICAGO—Engaging speakers and informative presentations will abound at the upcoming Midwinter Institute “The Genealogy Reference Desk: Where Everyone Knows Your Name,” a full-day workshop focused on New England genealogy resources and genealogy research techniques and presented by the History Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

This institute, sponsored by ProQuest, will focus on the “nitty-gritty” of genealogy research. New reference librarians will benefit from the fundamental tools presented at this event; experienced genealogy librarians will find it to be an excellent refresher. The skills and resources at the core of this event are relevant to all attendees, no matter the locale of their patron’s interest. The event, which includes lunch, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), held in conjunction with the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting. Speakers will present topics specific to New England and Colonial Research, along with general research methodology.

D. Brenton Simons, president and CEO of the NEHGS, will address “Sustainability in Genealogical Collections" and maintaining an institution during an economic downturn. Christine Baron, principal of Baron Consulting, will speak on the “Old North Church Project”—an NEH-funded collaborative project among the Old North Foundation, New England Historic Genealogical Society and HyperStudio-Laboratory for Digital Humanities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology aimed at creating an online educational program that combines public history and genealogy. Laura Prescott, a professional researcher, writer and speaker and consultant for who previously worked for NEHGS, will present “Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historic Perspective.” Drew Smith, one of the Genealogy Guys, owner of the Genealib listserv and an information literacy librarian at the University of South Florida, will be speaking on “Using Web 2.0 Tools with a 101 Knowledge Base”. David Dearborn, of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and a New England specialist, will present “An Overview of American Colonial Records”.

Founded in 1845 and located at 99 Newbury Street, Boston, NEHGS is the country's oldest nonprofit genealogical organization in the country. Located in the heart of the Boston’s beautiful Back Bay neighborhood, their eight-story library and archive is one of the nation's leading research centers for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. The institute will conclude with a tour of this beautiful facility for participants only.

Interested participants can register for this event only, or can register in conjunction with Midwinter Meeting registration by adding it as a ticketed event. For institute-only registration using the
online form (login required), select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type, and proceed to select this event from the list.

Advance registration for the meeting and this event opens Oct. 1 and ends Dec. 4, 2009. Advance registration prices for this event are $100 for RUSA members, $145 for ALA members, $75 for retired and student members and $220 for non-ALA members. On-site registration, priced at $125 for RUSA members, $125 for ALA members, $100 for retired and student members and $245 for non-ALA members, will be available until Friday, Jan. 8. All interested participants are strongly encouraged to register by Jan. 8, as only a handful of seats will be available at the door on the day of the event.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers advisory and resource sharing. Its History Section exists to represent the subject interests of reference librarians, archivists, bibliographers, genealogists, historians and others engaged in historical reference or research. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at