So what is this Institute of which I speak? Glad you asked.
There’s several institutes – week long, intensive courses for further learnin’. The one I attended, my first absolutely EVER, was the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford Univeristy in Birmingham, Alabama. This year (and I must delineate this year since I fully attend to go back and attend other institutes) I took the Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies. IGHR has been progressing, in some form or fashion and one steamy summer week at a time, since 1962. The next couple of years’ course lists are posted. Registration goes fast so make sure you’re at the computer when registration opens (in January) for your course. Not only do they have your selected course during the day but they also have evening lectures and the last night, a banquet with a special speaker. I’ll probably be back there in 2013 and take the Writing & Publishing although I would like to take Research in the South but Part I is 2012 (when I had intended to go to GRIPitt – see below) and Part II is 2013. Decisions, decisions….
Another similar week-long, with multiple mind boggling options for courses, is the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) which is offered by the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) every January. Registration doesn’t go as fast as IGHR but since registration opened earlier this month, one course is already sold out. Same as IGHR, you also have evening lectures but unlike IGHR, you have to stay in a hotel and have all those little perks like sheets, towels, and television, provided for you.
And there’s a new one on the horizon! The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIPitt) will have it’s inaugural session July 2012 at LaRoche College in (you guessed it) Pittsburgh. Like IGHR, you have dorm options for when you need to rest your weary, brain-dead head. There will be four courses offered and evening activities (still being planned). I’m taking the Advanced class there (I guess they’ll let Texans into Pennsylvania??) so when registration opens in February, you better stay out of my way or I’ll run you over!
There’s also NIGR but we’ll talk about that later when we talk about figuring out the National Archives.