17 June 2013

Motivation Monday - Midwestern Gem Shines for FGS Conference 2013, August 21 - 24

Holy Smokes! It's already the middle of June! Our weather here in north central Illinois hasn't exactly been summer-like, which has created the impression that it's still Spring. But the calendar says differently so it's time to get motivated and really start looking at what's coming up in the next few months.

The most important thing on my schedule, other than another birthday for the U.S., my hubs and I, is the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2013 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Ft. Wayne? Omigosh, yes...!!! It's the place I talk about to anyone who'll listen because it is the second largest genealogical library in the United States. That's right...outside of Salt Lake City, the Allen County Public Library is the next best place to research your (or your client's) family.

What makes ACPL so fabulous? Hmmm...where to start? The library itself is centrally located in downtown Ft. Wayne, Indiana. While it's not exactly a big City, Ft. Wayne is relatively easy to get to, and once there has a great mid-western feel to it. The Library itself is open and light and the staff has always been warm, welcoming, and incredibly helpful. One word of caution: if you want to view microfilm, bring fingerless gloves and something made of thinsulate or a parka. Not kidding. Seriously. The cold isn't so bad because the machines have USB connections for flashdrives, so you don't have to worry about bringing cash for copies. Now that's winning!

There is an incredible collection of family histories that really are the highlight of the Library. What's more, you can have your OWN history created: all you have to do is bring along the materials that you want published and the library will make two bound copies, one for you and one for the Library shelves (not instantaneously mind you, there's a backlog but for free it's worth the wait). I call it a physical version of Ancestry/FamilySearch; the volumes run the gamut from very old handwritten pages without sources of any kind to well written, professional genealogies, any of which can provide just the right item that will help you move forward in your own research.

Did I mention the fabulous Irish Pub moments from the Library? J K O'Donnell's has great service, fabulous food and, for those who may want to have an adult frosty beverage, a nice selection of brews and wines?

Oh, yeah...the Conference...heh. The lineup of speakers is top-notch and too lengthy to fit into a single post, so I'll follow up with posts with more details about the 'guts & glory' of it in the next few days. In the meantime, you only have until July 1st to get the $50 discount on registration. $50 would buy a few folks a nice meal at O'Donnell's. Just sayin'...


  1. Laura I will be there all the way from sunny Rhode Island. Looking forward to meeting you!

  2. Hi, Laura, so nice to see a post from you. They really are wonderfully helpful at the ACPL, and I like what you say about a "physical version of Ancestry/Family Search." I echo your recommendation to bring your own family history original materials to the library -- so generous of them to make copies!!

    I hope that somehow, some way, I can get to at least part of the conference and maybe have lunch with you at J K O'Donnell's! Hope that works!


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