APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-02 > 1171180820
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogy Strawman
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 08:00:20 +0000
A degree should not preclude credentialing. All kinds of professionals get their degrees, but still have to earn credentials. I am also not suggesting that a degree be mandatory in any way.
I apologize if my message came across with a prestige bias. To me it is not a matter of being elitist, but more a matter of becoming mainstream. I encounter many smart people who don't even know the term genealogy.
I think it is fair to say that not being a part of academia hurts the field. I was exposed to many different schools of thought in my undergrad and as a result switched my major to psychology because of one inspiring class. Genealogy lacks exposure on campuses and that coupled with how difficult it can be to get to conferences and institutes probably keeps a lot of great young minds away from the field. I know from personal conversations that some genealogists have a "more work for me" mentality, if there are fewer people in the field. But I think the more research, transcription, and writing being done the better.
I would bet that there are some really fantastic people who are being diverted away from our midst, because there is a (perceived) stability issue in this field. It would be fantastic if we created and drew funding for large long-term research projects that might employ many genealogists for many years. Such projects would probably be more viable under the auspices of a university. Projects like the Great Migration or the Palatines to America were, I believe, undertaken by individuals. Correct me if I am wrong. I imagine there are many other migration, culture or movement studies that could be developed and executed by teams of paid genealogists.
I wish I had the option of advanced study in genealogy (beyond the one exhausting week with Elizabeth in Advanced Methodology). Educational opportunities in genealogy are precious. IGHR at Samford and Salt Lake Institute offer learning opportunities, but those two weeks per year are short. NIGR is a good example of how hungry we are for more education. It usually sells out in the first few days of availability.
Since there is no advanced education available, you basically have to scrabble together a genealogy education, on your own, if you already have a degree. In hindsight, if I had the choice now of four years in a Ph.D. program vs. the ten years I spent "figuring things out" I would take the Ph.D. program. In fact, I am dragging my feet on certification, because I just don't have time to figure it out.
>>Although I think the best genealogical researchers and writers adhere to the
same high standards as sound academicians, and I think that they deserve
respect in the academic community, I don't think gaining respect of
should be the highest priority. We sort of sound like academic wannabees,
who want the prestige of a degree. I'm more concerned with gaining the
respect of clients, courts, archives managers, etc. That is why I like the
credentialing approach more than the degree approach.
I dont expect any current professional genealogists to meet these standards