Monday, April 12, 2010

Indiana Genealogical Society Conference - Recap

Saturday was the Annual Indiana Genealogical Society's Conference. Dick Eastman was the main speaker. It was a great conference and I learned a lot.

But what most impressed me about the conference was the IGS annual meeting.

Here's the bad news.

Currently the society is paying more for publication and mailing costs than it is bringing in each year's membership dues. These costs keep increasing each year. Although there is currently a large amount of savings continuing down this path will cause the society to go out of business.

Now for the good news.

The board is looking to the future. The IGS Magazine is already an online only publication available in the members area of their website. But the time has come to also make their other publication, Indiana Genealogist, an online only publication. It will continue to be printed and mailed in 2010, but will be available only online in 2011. Changing to online only publications mean that the publications can have color, hyperlinks, extra pages and more at no additional cost.

But the most important thing is that instead of spending all the membership dues on the publications and eating into the society's savings, dues will now be used to continue record preservation projects.

Currently, IGS is working on the Hendricks County Probate records as a pilot preservation plan. One day they hope to have the funds for a project in all 92 Indiana counties. (I can only hope that Switzerland county makes the list early!)

I am glad to be a member of a society that is thinking about the future.


  1. I guess Conference can have different meanings, but while there weren't lectures or seminars, I'm glad you attended. I'm wondering if you were the youngest person there, if so, they must have been delighted. It is too bad about the cost of postage, I think all societies are concerned, but in my local gene. club, some members don't use a computer, so everything has to be mailed.

  2. Barbara, There were lectures throughout the day. I just wanted to focus on the annual meeting in this post. I was absolutely the youngest person there (and the only one in pigtails!)

    At the meeting, they said that they could keep the printed publications, but it would double our current membership fees. Showing how they are going to use the money to fund more projects was a great way to get members to understand the importance of online publications.

  3. Tina:

    I'm sorry I missed the conference (I had to work Saturday). I would loved to hear Dick Eastman and get the opportunity to meet you in person!

    I agree with the online publications. I'd rather the money was spent on record preservation.


  4. Tina, It is so nice to see a young person blogging about genealogy! I have nominated you for the Ancestors Approved Award, if you haven't already received it. Please pop by my blog to see what it is all about.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. As more genealogical societies offer publications online versus print, I mourn the loss of magazines (wahhh!), but feel good about the impact on the environment AND the savings to the society, so they can focus their resources on other things. :)

  6. Congratualtions to the Society. I think it is great that they are forward thinking enough to take this approach. It may be true that some members don't use the computer, but I would think most would plus embracing technology will be more enticing to bringing in younger members. Nice write up about your society Tina.