Workshops & Events
The Archives offers workshops and organizes events on local history and genealogy throughout the year. Additionally, on the second Wednesday of each month, Research Night (6:00 - 9:00 p.m.) features a special topic presentation (beginning at 7:00) offered by an expert in the field. Research Night is open to the public and all resources of the Archives are available to patrons. Staff members are always available to assist with your beginning genealogical research or local history project.
Research Night at the Archives
Second Wednesday of each month 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
The special topic presentation (see schedule below) will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last approximately one hour.
March 12: Champaign County Court House Research
Spring 2014 Workshop Series
(Workshops are held in Lewis Auditorium and are free and open to the public. To register, please stop by the Archives or call us at: 217 - 367- 4025)
Ancestry.com: Beyond the Basics
Saturday, March 29 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Instructor: Steve Szabados
Ancestry.com is one of the largest and most important Genealogy websites. Its major databases are well known, however, it has many databases that are just as important but are rarely used. Steve Szabados will draw upon his experience to describe how you can find and unlock these databases. He will also review his techniques to simplify your research on Ancestry.com and make it more efficient.
Oral History for Family History
Saturday, April 19 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Noah Lenstra
Noah Lenstra shows how oral interviews can be used throughout family history research. Topics include using oral history to jump-start research; learning how to ask questions; strategies for scheduling, conducting, and transcribing interviews; producing audio-visual family heirlooms; and preserving oral interviews.
Pinning Down Your Family History: How Pinterest can help you display, organize, and share your family and community history
Wednesday, April 30 - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Gina Tangorra
Want to learn creative ways to make your family history more accessible? Interested in participating in a local community online “pinboard?” This program will give you the skills you need to confidently use Pinterest to complement your family history and local history research. Participants will learn the basics of Pinterest, as well as how to effectively share and organize family photos, memories, and documents. You are welcome to bring a laptop or a tablet, as there will be time to practice techniques shown during the workshop.
Breaking Down the Brick Walls in Your Genealogy
Saturday, May 3 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Instructor: Rob Johnson
This workshop will be dedicated to those tricky and challenging moments in genealogical research, with great emphasis on alternate and often overlooked sources. Robert Johnson will show how in many cases, answers may be found with careful "detective work." Understanding the times in which our ancestors lived, for example, is a fabulous key to what was recorded, where, why, and how. Time will be given for the instructor and class participants to share examples of a brick wall in their genealogy research.
Civil War Records and Research: A Tribute to our Veteran Ancestors
Saturday, May 24 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Instructor: Rob Johnson
In this workshop, Robert Johnson will provide information on how to identify and locate source documents to illuminate the life and times of American Civil War Soldiers and Veterans. Starting with family records and stories, many sources exist, including regimental histories, burial and pension files, online resources and indexes, and holdings at local and regional libraries and archives. Confederate research and location of records will also be discussed and reviewed. Class participants are welcome to share their stories and documents, and bring questions on their quests.