If tomorrow is Day #1 of the conference, that means today must be Day Zero, right? In any case, I'll use the term.
The 2011 annual conference of the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society opens tomorrow in Charleston, South Carolina. You can read more in my earlier article at http://goo.gl/u63Ul or read more on the NGS web site at http://goo.gl/0VZWl
Even though the conference starts tomorrow, today saw a number of "Pre-Conference Events." The Board for the Certification of Genealogists held an Education Fund Workshop, ProQuest sponsored a day-long Librarians' Workshop, the South Carolina Genealogical Society arranged a tour of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and several sightseeing tours of the local area were held today as well. In addition, several companies and non-profit organizations held various meetings, seminars, and dinners.
Several announcements were made today and you can read them in separate articles in this newsletter.
Even though the official conference hasn't started yet, I can tell you that the theme most everywhere has been "Civil War." Of course, this year marks the 150th anniversary of that war and those of us at the conference are sitting just a few miles from Fort Sumter, the site of the first battle of the Civil War.
The conference facilities appear to be excellent. The convention center is large, even too large for this conference, as we will never fill the place. I only saw it briefly this afternoon when I went to pick up my registration, but the center appears to be able to handle a conference several times the size of this one.
The weather today was good with temperatures in the mid eighties. However, those of us from the northern or western states are not accustomed to South Carolina's humidity. I must say that I noticed the difference.
The convention center is surrounded by hotels and restaurants, although I certainly would recommend an automobile. I did rent a car, so I'm set. However, those who decided to walk have found the distances involved to be a bit longer than what some had envisioned. The hotel I am in has a pleasant, but very small restaurant. I don't think I would want to eat EVERY meal there for four or five days. All other restaurants are quite a hike away, although not impossible. There will be a shuttle bus circulating amongst the hotels every half hour, starting tomorrow. That should be a big help.
Two hotels are close enough to have connecting walkways, even though they are on opposite sides of the convention center from each other. The Embassy Suites has a covered, elevated walkway that will keep pedestrians dry even in inclement weather. You can see the walkway in the first picture. Click on the picture to see a larger image.
The Hilton Garden Inn is on the opposite side of the convention center and it, too, has a walkway. However, this one is open and goes "through the woods." It was a pleasant walk today when I made the hike although I don't think I would enjoy it in a rainstorm. I'd probably ride the shuttle bus instead, if only to keep dry.
You can see the Hilton Garden Inn walkway in the second picture. Click on the picture to see a larger image.
The conference kicks off at 8 AM (yawn!) tomorrow morning with remarks by David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. I hope to be in the audience for his talk and will be taking notes of his and of a number of other talks throughout the next four days. I should also have a camera along and will take pictures to post to this newsletter's web site.
You can learn more about the National Genealogical Society's annual conference if you start at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conference_info and then follow the various links available there. You will also want to check the NGS conference blog at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/
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