Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What to do - Tuesday, June 6th

Perhaps you plan to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday, June 6th so you are in place for the conference's opening remarks on Wednesday morning. Did you know that there are conference events before Wednesday? You may want to move that arrival date up to Monday, June 5th!
Read More About Things to do on Tuesday!


One option for Tuesday is the Librarian's Conference. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Librarians who work with genealogy or family history collections will find this extra day to be of value. Registration is required for this ProQuest sponsored event. Lectures on GENEALIB, digitization of microfilm by the Genealogical Society of Utah, indexing and abstracting programs, and expansion of a library's website will enjoyed by attendees. A speaker from ProQuest will enhance the luncheon with a talk. The Librarian's Conference ends at 3:15, giving attendees plenty of time to check out the hotel and the regular conference registration desk. Did I forget to mention that the price of the Librarian's Conference is a real bargain? It is FREE to those who register for it!

Tuesday's second offering is the BCG Education Fund Workshop. Putting Skills to Work: Planning and Reporting Research is a workshop that can benefit any genealogist. This full day of expertly guided learning begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. BCG's first all-day workshop is sure to please those who attend. Lecture time will be supplemented by hands-on practice. With such notables as certified genealogists Kay Haviland Freilich, Paula Stuart-Warren, Marty Hiatt, and Barbara Mathews leading the program, it will be hard to miss. There is a registration fee of $90 for this event and attendees do not have to attend the regular conference. The fee includes a lunch and syllabus. Register early for this one. Attendance is limited to 60 people.

Those at the hotel on Tuesday will get a sneak peek at all of the delights offered by the vendors (and can purchase those delights as well). The vendor's hall will be open from 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Some Chicago Tourist Favorites

So, you are making the trip to the Windy City and you would like to see more than the conference hotel? How about some of these stops?
Continue Reading Chicago Tourist Favorites


The Sears Tower is a popular destination. A trip to the SkyDeck is a journey on a fast elevator ending in a terrific view. Don't forget your camera!

Millenium Park is one of the hottest new spots in town. The sculpture Cloud Gate [aka the Bean] is found here.

Not far from Millenium Park is the Art Institute of Chicago. You will find paintings and sculptures by world famous artists, as well as the most interesting Thorne Miniature Rooms.

If you didn't get enough of high places in your trip to the Sears Tower, try out the Hancock Observatory at the John Hancock Center where the view covers 80 miles and four states!

Miss your pets when away from home? Get a dose of fur, scales, and feathers at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

If shopping is for you check out Navy Pier where you can eat, browse, and take a ride on the giant 150' Ferris Wheel. Don't neglect a dockside stroll, where you can see some of the popular lake cruising vessels. Among attractions at Navy Pier are the Chicago Children's Museum, a stained glass museum, and an IMAX Theater.

Shop, shop, shop at Water Tower Place where you will find over 100 stores and restaurants.

If museums are for you don't miss the Field Museum of Natural History. There will be a special exhibit, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs during the time of the conference! Tickets to this event will be in high demand.

Do you prefer science and industry to natural history? Then the Museum of Science and Industry is the place you want to see. Visitor favorites there include a coal mine exhibit and a real U-505 submarine. This beautiful building was converted from the 1893 World's Fair Palace of Fine Arts into the museum we see today.

Not enough creatures? Head back to the lakefront and the Shedd Aquarium, the world's largest indoor aquarium. The Oceanarium is a place to see whales and dolphins, and the Wild Reef exhibit brings you up close and personal with sharks.

Starry-eyed? You can walk from the Shedd Aquarium to the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.

If you want a landmark photo stop and see Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Are you torn between all of the great places above or does your budget only allow for one museum? Check out the City Pass which allows visits to six area attractions for one price! At this writing a City Pass is only $49.50 for adults ($39 for children ages 3-11) and it includes admission to the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hancock Observatory, and the Shedd Aquarium! One benefit of having the City Pass is that with it you can avoid waiting in most lines at these venues. The pass expires nine days after first use, giving you plenty of time during the conference week to get your money's worth! If you purchase the pass online they will send it to you in the mail.

The places mentioned are only a fraction of things to do and see in Chicago. We hope that they inspire you to explore the city.

Some Favorite Chicago Genealogy Destinations

Thinking about booking a few extra days in Chicago? If you have a bit of free time you may want to check out these great Chicago genealogy favorites.
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The Newberry Library is a private library with an outstanding genealogy collection. The Civil War collection is notable. They also have wonderful maps and rare books. The Newberry does not charge a fee to access their collection, but those of us who visit regularly are sure to include a donation each time we renew our visitor's cards. Be prepared to store the majority of your items in a locker. The quarter you need to operate the locker is returned to you at the end of your visit. Bring a photo i.d. so you can get a user's card.

NARA's Great Lakes Region (Chicago) is a popular destination for genealogists from all over the country. They maintain retired records from federal courts and agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They also have more commonly used items such as census and Revolutionary War microfilms. There is a textual records division, where one can find records such as certain Lake Michigan Life Saving Station Logs.

One of my favorite items at the Harold Washington Library Center is the outstanding newspaper collection on microfilm! If you want Chicago city directories and telephone books this is the place to go. Don't miss the special collection of photographs and images. You can find Who's Who books and a bit of this and that. The place is huge and fun to browse. They have a special collections division which has a number of important Chicago history items. Don't miss the amazing owl gargoyles on each corner of the building.

The Chicago Historical Society is a fun place to visit. They have displays depicting events in Chicago history as well as a research center filled with city directories and only 20 million other items of value to Chicago's history. You can check the Encyclopedia of Chicago on their website. And what a view!

The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies has a number of Yizkor books in its Asher Library. They are home to the Chicago Jewish Archives.

RTA Trip Planner Makes Visiting Chicago a Breeze

Looking for a way to get around Chicago? Try the online RTA Trip Planner.
Read More About the RTA Trip Planner


Just plug in a starting and ending address, cross street, or an already named destination (see the drop down box for the pre-selected locations). If you are staying at the event hotel, use the Rosemont Convention Center choice as your start and/or end point. The Rosemont Convention Center is right across the road from our event hotel. Add approximate times that you would like to travel and the trip planner will give you specific directions to the subway, bus, or train. They also tell the time of the stop and how much it will cost to ride.

The trip planner will take some of the stress out of visiting a new city, and be helpful to you if you want to explore some of Chicago's destinations.

NGS Chicago 2006: Chicagoland Genealogical Consortium

Welcome to the Chicagoland Genealogical Consortium blog!

The CGC, composed of eight greater Chicago area genealogical societies, is the host society for NGS Chicago 2006. We hope to keep you informed and get you motivated about the 2006 National Genealogical Society Conference in the States. Remember, conference dates are Wednesday, June 7th to Saturday, June 10th. There are events on Tuesday, June 6th as well.

Be sure to stop by the blog each week for updates!