For those of you who commented last week that genealogical institutes and other education opportunities aren't physically or financially possible for everyone -- this blog post is for you! From online webinars and video tutorials, to full-blown University courses with a certificate of completion, there are a wide variety of free online resources for continuing your genealogical education. In some cases this may mean a foray into related fields, from writing and history, to genetics and cognitive science. But that's what makes this so fun, isn't it?
Starting off with genealogy-specific education, don't miss the almost 600 free online courses offered online through the FamilySearch Learning Center, most in video format, or video with slides. There are a few audio-only courses as well, however -- great for downloading to your mobile device for learning on the go. There are courses for every level, from beginner to advanced, and in countries around the world, from Alemania (really Germany in the Spanish language...I had to look this one up!) to the United Kingdom. So yes, there are also tutorials in a variety of languages as well. New courses just added this month represent the typical variety, from "BCG Certification: Measuring Yourself Against Standards" and "Little Used But Important Sources: Swedish/Finnish Tax, Catechism, & Danish Communion Records" to "Using Online Czech Records: Prague City Archives" and "Rubik's Cube Genealogy: A New Twist on Old Data." Among the classes are also a lot of great tutorials on reading various types of handwriting and script, such as this interactive German Script Tutorial.
Free online genealogy webinars offered by a variety of genealogical organizations and companies are another great source for improving your genealogical skills and knowledge. The Legacy Family Tree webinar series, for example, brings in well-known genealogical speakers on a variety of interesting topics. The live webinars are free for anyone to attend, and many can also be viewed for free for a short period following the live event. Some webinars are also available online indefinitely (scroll down the page past the "Future Webinars" to see the "Archived Webinars." If you have missed one that is no longer available online for free, they can also be purchased on CD.
The Friends of the National Archives: Southeast Region have a free webinar series with several focused on genealogical research. Coming up in February is a interesting one with Angela Walton-Raji on "Exploring the Records of the Freedman's Bureau," and in March with Laura Prescott talking about "loc.gov: Using Our Nation's Library Online." DearMyrtle has been offering free online webinars for years, and also makes some of her prior archived webinars available for free. RootsMagic offers regular, free webinars geared to users of their various software products. A number of genealogical societies and associations also open their live webinars free to the public, with recordings of past webinars available only to members. Examples include the Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinars, the Utah Genealogical Association Virtual Chapter, and the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Extension Series. Over 150 free archived Ancestry.com Webinars can be downloaded for free as podcasts on iTunes. The GeneaWebinar calendar includes many, but not all, of these webinar offerings via an easy-to-use Google Calendar format.
Don't miss Free Online Genealogical Education, Part II, which covers a variety of free online self-study courses, as well as free University-based courses, some of which offer a certificate of completion.