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5013 - Friday Banquet "Tales of Accessing Historical Sources"

7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

"The Keepers of the Records and I: Tales of Accessing Historical Sources" by John Phillip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

Knowledgeable, entertaining and experienced, John Philip Colletta, PhD, is a popular Washington, D.C.-based lecturer on topics of family history research and writing.

For twenty years, while laying the foundation for his career in genealogy, he worked half-time at the Library of Congress and taught workshops at the National Archives. Today Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Certificate in Family History program.

His publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular: two manuals -- They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for AmericansOnly a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath.

Dr. Colletta has received many professional awards and honors and appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. His Ph.D. in Medieval French is from The Catholic University of America. Visit

Without written records, there would be no genealogy. Family lore and artifacts can tell us only so much. We rely heavily on evidence found in the written record of the past. Four decades of hunting for evidence of my ancestors have brought me face-to-face with a diverse assortment of keepers of records: archivists, librarians, priests, curators, court clerks, secretaries, and cousins who got all the good stuff. To access the treasures these custodians control, I have had to develop skills of diplomacy, negotiation, good humor, melodrama, stealth, groveling and bribery. This humorous banquet talk relates three episodes that teach valuable lessons for genealogists eager to access historical sources about their ancestors.

Early Bird Registration closes April 30, 2014 @ 12:00 midnight.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 12 January, 2011.
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