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As part of the NGS Board meeting held at the recent conference, revisions were approved for the NGS Guidelines. The last major revisions took place in 2002.
First, you might ask “what are the Guidelines?”
These Guidelines are recommended by the National Genealogical Society for the benefit of those who wish to improve their skills and performance in genealogical pursuits. NGS is neither an accrediting nor an enforcement agency and does not determine whether its recommendations are being followed in any particular case. These recommendations serve their purpose when an individual decides that the Guideline have been applied appropriately in a matter of personal interest.
In fact, Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, recently referenced Guidelines for Sharing Information with Others (PDF 173KB), in her post, Blurring the Lines, when quoting …
“genealogists and family historians consistently — respect the restrictions on sharing information that arise from the rights of another … as a living private person;” and “convey personal identifying information about living people—such as … genetic information…—only in ways that those concerned have expressly agreed to…”
The other guidelines are …
· Guidelines for Sound Genealogical Research (PDF 179KB)
· Guidelines for Using Records Repositories and Libraries (PDF 190KB)
Second, let’s talk about the revisions. The edits range from wordsmithing for readability, clarity, and ease of understanding, while others are more substantive in nature such as this addition to Guidelines for Sound Genealogical Research …
become familiar with research and ethical standards set by other genealogical organizations, such as the Board for Certification of Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and the Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee.
These guidelines are a means for the genealogical community to self-police itself.
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