Tuesday, March 19, 2013
This week I will be attending RootsTech 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech is a conference that focuses on providing its attendees the latest technologies and techniques for genealogical research. Beginning Thursday morning till Saturday afternoon, the days are packed with a variety of sessions to meet everyone's needs. Two tracks that are gaining a lot of attention this year are a beginners track and Story@Home, which is all about developing both traditional and new ways to tell and preserve the story of your family. A list of all the sessions, as well a downloadable syllabus, can be found here on the RootsTech Schedule page.
The reason I decided to attend RootsTech this year was the live streaming sessions they provided last year. For those of you not attending this year, they are doing it again! To watch the live streaming sessions click here for the schedule and keep in mind that all times are Mountain Time. And if memory serves, links became available there last year, once the streaming began, to take you to the video.
The Expo Hall is also bigger this year. There will be over a hundred vendors demonstrating software, mobile apps and techniques to assist not only in gathering your research but also sharing it online and publishing it for others.
In addition to attending RootsTech I have been doing research this week at the Family History Library and will be attending the APG Professional Management Conference tomorrow and Wednesday. It is a packed week and a half here in Salt Lake City and I am loving every minute of it! I am filling my iPad and flash drives with tons of images to analyze once I get back home. I have also had the pleasure of meeting many other wonderful genealogists in person that I only knew from online communities.
Whether you are thinking of attending RootsTech or another major genealogy conference, I highly recommend you do. Not only for the information learned during the conference sessions but also for the opportunity to connect with fellow researchers!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Well it is official!! Today I received my certificate of completion from Boston University's Genealogical Research program. I am now officially a member of OL10, the tenth group of students to complete the online program in December 2012. There is also a resident program that can be taken in Boston.
Continuing education in any profession is vital to staying up to date with current research in the field and to refreshing and expanding one's skill sets. Professional genealogy is no different and there is a wealth of educational opportunities available.
Boston University's program is the first one that I have completed and was amazing. It was a challenging and intense 15 week program. The faculty that teaches the program were equally fantastic. The faculty included Melinde Lutz Byrne, Thomas W. Jones, Elissa Scalise Powell and Allison Ryall along with a great group of TAs.
The program hits the ground running and never looks back. Weekly assignments and message board posting requirements kept us busy, this is definitely not a beginners course (there is an Essentials Course offered by BU for beginners). Through the postings, students got to know each other and learn from each other's areas of expertise.
I highly recommend the program to anyone who is looking to learn or advance your research skills. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a professional genealogist or you are simply looking to apply professional methodologies to your family's history, the Genealogical Research certificate program at BU will not disappoint.
Currently I am enrolled in the NGS Home Study program, which is a home study course on three CDROMs which can be completed at your own pace. I am also a member of a PROGEN study group, which is a small group of individuals who over a nineteen month period, with the guidance of a mentor and coordinator, work their way through Elizabeth Shown Mill's Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians.
The NGS and PROGEN courses have different feels (and experience levels - the NGS program begins at more of a beginners' level whereas the PROGEN course assumes a certain mastery of basic research skills), but both strive toward the same goal ... furthering a participant's knowledge, expertise, and proficiency in genealogical research so that work produced for clients, publication or for our families stands up to professional standards.
The NGS and PROGEN programs will be the topic of a future posting ... for tonight ... I am enjoying the feeling of having officially completed the BU program. Now where am I going to hang this certificate?!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
|Corner of Newman Avenue and S Main Street,|
Harrisonburg, Virginia about 1940
(click on image for better view)
This is an old photo of Harrisonburg, Virginia taken approximately in 1940 or 1941. On the next street corner up, on the left, is a large sign on the outside of the building that says "New Home of Hostetter's Cut Rate Store." A National Register of Historic Places Registration form found on the Virginia Department of Historic Resource's web site states that the Hostetter Building, the description matching the one in the photo, was built about 1940. The sign stating the "New Home ..." and the date on the Register's form is how I am placing the date of the photo. Dating the cars in the photo would be other clues, but I am not that proficient in that area!
Hostetter's Cut Rate, which was a pharmacy and drug store, actually has signs on both sides of E. Water Street on the left of the picture. On the north side of Water Street, the old location of Hostetter's, is today a pizza and sandwich place aptly named The Corner.
The "New Home" of Hostetter's on the south side of Water Street is now The Oasis, a fine arts cooperative gallery.
The next sign on the street reads "Mick or Mack Cash Talks." Mick or Mack was a grocery store chain that began in Roanoke, Virginia and at its height had stores throughout Western Virginia and some in West Virginia. The "Cash Talks" on the sign describes one of the corner stones of the business. To shop there you needed cash, nothing was sold on credit. Today Mick or Mack's location is occupied by Dance & Company which offers classical and contemporary dance training.
The building with probably the most interesting sign on the block, in the shape of a large "dinner bell," belongs to Loewner's Cafe. Loewner's, according to an ad placed in the 20 March 1937 edition of the The Breeze (James Madison University's student newspaper), offered "A Quiet Dining Room for Those Who Desire a Restful Meal." Today, this is the location of Dave's Downtown Taverna which offers Greek dishes along with classic America burgers and other cuisine. They have live music and show sporting events (which I experienced on my last visit) on a large screen. Definitely a great place for Harrisonburg's college crowd.
The building to the far left corner of the photo is no longer there, it is a parking lot. Finally, in the group of buildings on the right side of the photo, directly across from Mick or Mack in the photo, is the only remaining occupant of the block shown in the above picture that is still located there today: the Masonic Temple of Rockingham Union #27.
What a difference 70 some years make! Thinking in terms of the services offered on this block then compared to now displays the changes in the needs and lifestyles of the community it serves.