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The National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society is a good jumping off point for the serious researcher whom wants to expand his or her understanding of the techniques and standards of genealogical research.


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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Alan Smith
Word Count: 409 (approx.)
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In April of 1903 in Washington D.C. the first meeting of the non-profit organization known as the National Genealogical Society (NGS) was conducted. Back then, charter membership was a dollar, and six people showed up for the first meeting. In 1912 the society started a library which included 31 volumes of the Pennsylvania Archives. In 1954 the library grew to 1,485 bounded volumes of varying sources. Its mission is to provide genealogical education and promoting standards in research while increasing awareness and interest in the field of genealogy.

Today members pay an annual $55 dollars, and the National Genealogical Society Book Loan Collection comprises over 20,000 books, located at the St. Louis County Library at 1640 S. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO. 63131. Most of these books are available to members and non-members alike. You can check out this collection at online at: Library Book Loan Collection. This collection is available for interlibrary loan.

The benefits of membership include access to "member only" sections of the NGS web site and NGS databases, subscription to its magazine, participation on its online forums, and discounts toward bookstore and research services.

The NGS also provides an opportunity to take genealogical courses at home, or online courses from its Learning Center. The home study courses covers such topics as evidence analysis, source citation, research strategies, and instructions on researching various sources of information. Courses can be graded by a NGS staff member with a written feedback or one can choose to correct oneself without grading. Prices and details on NGS courses can be found at The Learning Center.

The NGS web site also provides a page of links to Libraries & Archives, Societies & Organizations, Ethnic Resources, Immigration sites and other Miscellaneous and general sites at Genealogy Links.

If you are interested in standards and guidelines in genealogical research, the NGS has six publication on PDF for download at Genealogical Standards & Guidelines.

You can contact the National Genealogical Society at 3108 Columbus Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4304. The toll-free phone number is (800) 473-0060, and many of its departments have separate e-mail addresses, which can be found on the Contact NGS page.

The Society is a good jumping off point for the serious researcher whom wants to expand his or her understanding of the techniques and standards of genealogical research. The organization provides a nucleus in which the novice to professional can expand their proficiency in finding family history.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2007.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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