Friday, May 29, 2015

Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research to Relocate in 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Samford University has announced that the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) will relocate after the June 2016 institute. The university is working with the IGHR advisory board and other organizations to find a suitable host.
The growth in Samford’s academic programming has resulted in demands on necessary resources that exceed the university’s ability to meet both programs’ requirements for a quality experience for all parties, according to Kimmetha Herndon, dean of Samford University’s Library. The Institute traditionally has been held in June, and that date did not compete with other workshops and conferences held across the U.S. throughout the year. Alternative dates to host the Institute were not available because of the university’s expanded year-round academic programming. This year’s IGHR workshop is June 7-12.
“June has become an increasingly busy month on the Samford campus. Institutional priorities for academic programming, summer academic camps and a growing number of new student orientation sessions increased the demand on classroom, residence hall, dining and other auxiliary resources,” Herndon said. “For several years now, we have had to make adjustments in the IGHR schedule and programming to try to meet the institute’s programming needs within the available space and resources of the university.”
The goal is to provide the best learning atmosphere possible for IGHR attendees. “The institute has been operating at capacity for several years, and we have reached the point where our campus no longer can provide the high quality experience that our attendees deserve and the university desires,” Herndon added.
The decision was not an easy one, Herndon explained, and university officials have worked for two years to find viable solutions or alternative dates. Herndon and the university library staff are working with the IGHR advisory board to identify alternative hosts, including other locations in Birmingham and across the South.
Herndon said Samford will continue to promote IGHR. The Samford library staff and IGHR advisory board will seek to keep the Institute and workshop in the South and to promote the historic collections in Alabama and the Southeast.
Herndon and several board members noted that the potential move could enable IGHR to serve more genealogists and to offer a more comprehensive curriculum.
The Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research dates to 1962, and it became a week-long event in 1965. Although the format and schedule have changed through the years, Herndon noted, the Institute has sought to “instruct genealogical researchers in the art of detailed historical research beyond knowing who their ancestors were to the deeper understanding of the times and places in which their families lived.”
It is because of that long history that Samford is committed to identifying a possible new host campus or facility for the Institute, she added.
“We are fortunate that there are a number of institutions and organizations across the South who could be strong partners with the Institute,” Herndon said. “Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for those who have come to rely on the Institute as a source for their genealogical research education needs. We want IGHR to continue to thrive, and we anticipate being able to continue this strong tradition in support of the mission of IGHR.”

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