21 August 2013

National Archives (FREE) Virtual Genealogy Fair -- 3-4 September 2013! No excuse not to attend this year!

A few years ago I was able to attend the NARA Genealogy Fair, looked around, attended some sessions, and helped staff the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) table for a bit.

When I first heard there would be not fair in 2013, due to sequestration, it made me a bit sad as it was such a neat event and showcase for NARA and its holdings and the expertise of its employees.

I am happy to report that NARA has come up with a neat solution – it will hold a “virtual” genealogy fair.  To borrow from my British cousin, this is “brilliant!”  Not only will the fair again be held and it will be available to you regardless of where you live!


WHAT:  National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair
  • For the first time ever, the National Archives will host a virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast using the Internet.
  • This two-day program will showcase tips and techniques for using Federal records at the National Archives for genealogy research. Lectures are designed for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike.
  • Lecture topics include Native American and African American history, immigration, Civil War pensions, U.S. Colored Troops, and Navy Deck logs.
  • “Help! I’m Stuck” Call-In Consultation: National Archives staff will be available to answer research questions during the Fair.

WHEN:  Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3–4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. EST

WHO:  Speakers include genealogy experts from the National Archives and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

HOW:  The National Archives will make this event available via webcast. The webcast will include options for the hearing-impaired. Recorded sessions will be available online after the event.

Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see www.archives.gov.
For more information about the fair, e-mail [email protected]. Join the Genealogy Fair conversation onTwitter using #genfair2013.

To keep current on the details, check this page, http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair/, regularly.

[Update 6:30 EST 21 Aug 2013 -- here is the purported schedule! Thanks to Adventures in Genealogy Education.]

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  1. I was so excited to see this virtual fair. Then I realized it uses live streaming, which requires high speed internet, which I don't have.

    Too bad they aren't using webinar technology, which works fine for me.


    1. Hi Barbara, yes, the Federal government (including NARA and LOC) sometimes choose methods that challenge us a little bit more! Though, I am happy to report that the handouts for the sessions are NOW available at these two links, http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair/2013/handouts/september3-bios-handouts.pdf (with each bio are clickable links to handouts) and http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair/2013/handouts/september4-bios-handouts.pdf.

      Hopefully the handouts will take some of the pain away of not being able to attend.