HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship

HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship

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  • December 13, 2018
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Georgia HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship (applications due by 3 January 2020)—open to Georgia public library staff.

Georgia HomePLACE is offering two (2) $1500 travel scholarships to Georgia public library staff to attend the 5-day Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), being held at UGA’s Georgia Center in Athens, Georgia Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020.

Applications will be accepted continuously until Friday, January 3, 2020.

About IGHR

In continuous operation since 1962, the Institute provides exceptional, intensive training in genealogy and local history research methods and sources, and offers immersive coursework of great benefit to librarians and archivists assisting researchers.

Sponsored by the Georgia Genealogical Society, IGHR offers students any one of thirteen courses:

  1. Methods & Sources

  2. Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies

  3. Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis

  4. Writing & Publishing for Genealogists

  5. Genetics for Genealogists: Beginning DNA

  6. Military Records III: Advanced Research and Methodology

  7. Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond

  8. For Land’s Sake! Advanced Analysis and Platting

  9. Research in the South: Cessions & Territories

  10. Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Gov’t Docs

  11. Researching African American Ancestors: Government Documents & Advanced Tools

  12. Intermediate DNA: Planning for and Conducting Research using DNA and Documentary Sources

  13. Researching New York: Resources & Strategies

IGHR has attracted premier instructors, and “with the leading researchers and scholars in the field teaching the courses, the institute has led the genealogy discipline in the instruction of family research and local history.”  A full faculty roster can be viewed here.

The objectives of IGHR are five-fold:

  1. To teach the fundamentals of genealogical research and methodology;

  2. To teach research skills using a variety of resources and facilities;

  3. To provide broad and in-depth historical and genealogical subject content;

  4. To reach the evaluation of resources, proficiency in bibliographic citation, and critical analysis of documentation;

  5. To provide instruction for those wishing to pursue careers in genealogy and related disciplines.

Each year, IGHR attracts an international audience ranging from the budding hobbyist to the certified professional, and all ranges of experience in-between.


“Because I attended IGHR so many years I can speak to how IGHR can help public librarians better serve their communities.

“IGHR helped me:

  • build the Heritage Room collection based on appropriate migration trails, history, culture, etc.

  • assist patrons with confidence and accuracy

  • teach classes at library to help people get started

  • teach sessions at COMO on using genealogy tools and resources and how to help folks with genealogy questions

  • teach sessions at UGA for library staff on how to assist people with genealogy”

-Laura Carter, retired, Heritage Room Librarian, Athens Regional Library System, and past IGHR Director

Review Criteria

Scholarship applications will be evaluated based on thoughtfulness and completeness of responses, with preference given to those applicants for whom attendance at IGHR would directly benefit their current position or employment. Applicants need not have previous experience with genealogy and local history research to qualify for the scholarship.

Applicants should display an understanding of what content will be taught in their selected course, and demonstrate how knowledge of the particular subject area would specifically further their library work.

All applicants must have the approval of their Director to qualify for the scholarship. Applications submitted without Director approval will be disqualified.

Scholarship Logistics

Important Dates

Friday, January 3, 2020: scholarship application deadline

Friday, January 10, 2020: applicant notification

Saturday, February 1, 2020: IGHR registration opens

Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020: IGHR

Friday, August 14, 2020: deadline for reimbursement documentation

Additional Information

In their application, scholarship winners must identify which available course they would attend if selected, and why. Applicants should note that IGHR is an 5-day intensive commitment, and does include evening activities and homework including but not limited to library research, field trips to area institutions, and other events as assigned. A mandatory Orientation and Reception will take place the afternoon of Sunday, July 26, 2020. Classes will begin at 8:30am on Monday, July 27th and end Friday, July 31st at noon. 

The library system of the winner of each scholarship will be reimbursed for registration and travel costs, including room and board at the negotiated hotel group rate, up to $1500. Scholarship applicants are responsible for their own registration and travel arrangements. IGHR 2020 registration opens Saturday, February 1, 2020, and scholarship recipients (or their institutions) are responsible for their own registration. 

Reimbursable expenses need to meet the Georgia State Accounting Office Travel Policy requirements.  Hotel and travel arrangements must be made by the attendee. Attendance is  mandatory for reimbursement. Libraries will be required to submit reimbursement documentation within 7 days following the conclusion of the program. Employees may claim Tier II mileage and other conference expenses up to the maximum award of $1500. PDF copies of reimbursement documentation should be sent to invoice [at] georgialibraries [dot] org and astanley [at] georgialibraries [dot] org by August 14, 2020.

Scholarship Program Evaluation

Scholarship winners will be asked to submit a written impact essay and complete surveys following the training to provide feedback to Georgia HomePLACE and the Georgia Genealogical Society. Your honest feedback is appreciated!

2020 HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship Recipients


Laureen Lee AlfordCongratulations to Laureen Lee Alford winner of a 2020 HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship. She will be taking Course One — Methods & Sources with Rebecca Whitman Koford CG®, CGLSM, in July. Laureen is a Georgia native who holds a BA from Mercer University, a JD from the University of Georgia School of Law and an MLIS from the Florida State University College of Information. She practiced law as a plaintiff’s Employment Law attorney for six years. She managed the Ivy Room genealogy collection for the Oconee County Library in Watkinsville, Georgia for approximately three years. For the next fifteen years she managed the Dougherty County Law Library and created the Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center, which is a pilot project of the National Center for State Courts. She returned to Genealogy in September 2019, when the Dougherty County Public Library hired her as a librarian whose job duties include running the genealogy department.

“I have chosen Course One, Methods & Sources, because it will improve my genealogy skills by reinforcing the foundation I will need to continue my work in genealogy. My position demands an excellent knowledge of genealogy because I assist patrons with research, teach monthly classes and am revitalizing the genealogy department after it moved from Central Library to the Northwest Branch. Like legal research, genealogical research requires an organized, methodical mind as well as great attention to detail. The field of genealogy has changed a great deal over the past fifteen years. I believe that once I have completed Methods & Sources, I will be able to assist genealogy patrons with expanded knowledge and greater confidence.”


Kimberly Smothers ClaytonCongratulations to Kimberly Smothers Clayton winner of a 2020 HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship. She will be taking Course Two — Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies with Angela Packer McGhie, CG®, in July. Born and reared in Montezuma, GA, Kimberly considers herself a true Southern Belle. Being the child of an educator and a US Marine, learning and reading have always been important to her. Although Kimberly began on a path to becoming a Doctor by pursuing Biology/Pre-Med at Fort Valley State University, she quickly fell into her library niche after taking a Page position with Houston County Public Library System. She realized public libraries were definitely her calling with working as the Circulation Manager for Peach Public Libraries. She has climbed the ranks and has continued to make her mark ever since. Kimberly is now the Librarian and Department Head for the Monroe County Library with Flint River Regional Library System. Her interest in genealogy developed while constructing her own family tree. She’s been able to trace her mother’s family as far back as the Trans-Atlantic trade and discovered her father’s grandmother’s name was “Queen.” When her eyes are not stuck to a computer screen or her head in a book, Kimberly loves movies and video games, playing piano and freelance modeling.  She also enjoys spending time with her niece, Brisha and her kitten, Harmonee Joi.

“I chose Course Two because I wanted to build on the skills that I’d already developed from working in Public Libraries. Working in a Civil War History town, I find it imperative that I have skills available to provide research and reference services to those who need them. I’ve received requests from as far as Iowa. I know that this course will allow me to expand my knowledge to be able to provide more efficient and reliable information. Any information that I learn from this opportunity will be exceptionally beneficial to this community and those researching it.”


Previous Recipients

2019 Whitney Gaines, Natorra Madison, Stacey Wright

2018 — Lisa Huskey, Carol Minter-Smith, Madison Mosely

Categories: Scholarships