It’s that time of year when Brigham Young University hosts the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. For those who may be unfamiliar with BYU, it is located in Provo, Utah approximately 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. This year participants hail from 29 of the United States, the District of Columbia, and from Canada, Australia, and the Ukraine.
The conference will be held July 29 through August 1, 2014 at the BYU Conference Center, 770 East University Parkway, Provo, Utah. There is still time to register if you would like to attend. Remember, sometimes the airlines have great last-minute deals.
The BYU conference offers participants a choice of 160 classes categorized into about two dozen tracks. The syllabus is a treasure trove of additional information, bibliographies, and links to further one’s study of any of the presentations.
This year the opening keynote address will be given by Paul E. Koelliker, who has served as executive director of the Temple Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and as assistant executive director of the LDS Family History Department. On Wednesday, David E. Rencher, AG, CG, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Rencher is the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International. On Thursday, T.C. Christensen, a writer, director, and producer for the movie Ephraim's Rescue and other films, will address the conference. For the remaining part of each day and on Friday, classes are offered for those new to genealogy and those with more experience. For a complete schedule of presenters and their topics visit ce.byu.edu.
New this year FamilySearch will be offering free scanning services to conference participants. FamilySearch is bringing four high-speed photo scanners that can scan up to 80 photos per minute. So, if you are coming to the conference and would like to participate bring your photos and a portable USB drive with sufficient memory. Stop by room 2285 to schedule a time to scan your photos. This service will be available every day of the conference.
FamilySearch will also be scanning books for participants. Beginning on Wednesday, July 30 through Thursday, July 31, FamilySearch will scan books on a first-come, first-serve basis. FamilySearch is especially interested in the following:
- Autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material
- Family histories with genealogical information
- Indexes to records
- Local and county histories
FamilySearch is recommending that books be brought to room 2285 Wednesday morning and they plan to scan as many as possible. If FamilySearch is unable to meet the demand for these services, unfinished books will be returned Friday morning or, with permission of the owner, FamilySearch will scan each book at their Salt Lake facility and return each book to its owner by mail.
Remember that permission must be obtained from the author or copyright holder of any published book before books can be scanned. Generally, a book published before 1923 is in the public domain and does not impose this additional requirement. There is no scanning limitation on the size of a book. The participant's publications will be added to the current 140,000 books found online at familysearch.org.
The BYU Family History Library, located on the 2nd floor of the Harold B. Lee Library, will be open from 7 am to 12 midnight Tuesday through Friday for those who may want to dedicate part of their days and their evenings in Provo doing family history research. Don’t forget to check out the great collection of maps and periodicals that are housed in this university’s library!
Family Chart Masters and Genealogy Wall Charts are giving away free fan charts to conference participants. You must order them online and they will be available for pick up at the conference. Visit the conference website for more information. The conference will also have exhibitors present to display their newest products and services. Come check out the newest offerings in the field of genealogy.
Once again the youth track will be offered on Tuesday. It is FREE and does not require pre-registration. Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family History Consultants, who may attend their specific track for FREE on Friday, may register for the full conference and receive a $50 discount on general registration. The credit option cost for the conference (2 credits of History 481R –Family History Directed Research and a CD syllabus) is $484. To register, call 1-877-221-6716 or visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.
Men’s and women’s housing, which includes meals each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $170. (That’s four nights lodging and 12 full meals.) Married housing is not available. (See the conference website about hotel accommodations.) Conference participants who are not staying on campus may purchase a $35 lunch card for the afternoon meal each day at the Morris Center during the conference. Lunch includes a choice of two entrees, salad, fruit, desserts, and drinks. It’s all you can eat! For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 1-801-422-4853.
Follow the conference on Twitter, #BYUFHGC, and visit the conference home page on Facebook for the latest updates.
Lynn Broderick (https://thesingleleaf.wordpress.com/) is a writer by birth, a teacher by profession, and a researcher by passion. She enjoys researching individuals of the past in the context of family, community, and social history. Known as the Single Leaf, she combined her childhood memories of football and genealogy to create genealogy football and works with her team to win their family history bowl each year. She loves to coach people on how to enjoy pursuing their family history and has done so for over 25 years.