15 April 2013

M is for Mastering Genealogical Proof


I have never seen as much network traffic about a new genealogical publication as I have about the new National Genealogical Society (www.ngsgenealogy.org) book “Mastering Genealogical Proof” (www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof)  by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.

The book deals in detail with the “Genealogical Proof Standard” (www.bcgcertification.org/resources/standard.html) used by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (www.bcgcertification.org). As stated on the BCG website: “Applications for certification are judged on whether they meet the standards delineated in the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. All of its seventy-four standards contribute to the level of credibility in genealogy called the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). As a result, genealogists who are certified have demonstrated their ability to do work that meets the GPS.”

The GPS consists of five elements which each have their own chapter in the new book:
  • a reasonably exhaustive search;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.
Everyone is talking about this book which has an estimated ship date of the 20th May 2013. If you are attending the NGS 2013 Family History Conference between the 8–11 May 2013 in Las Vegas you will be able to pick up a copy early and maybe even get it signed.
There have been extended discussions about the book suggesting it is:
  • “a major step forward for genealogical education”,
  • “a unique textbook on genealogical methods and reasoning in the twenty-first century”
  • “a buzz in the air over this new book” and
  • “a genealogical must read”
There are planned hangouts on Google+, webinars, courses and MGP Study Groups. Just search on google to find them. But essential to joining in with any of these activities is having a copy of the book which is currently available for pre-order from the NGS at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof.

The cost of the book is $25.00 for members of NGS and $30.00 for non-members. Luckily for residents of the US the price includes the cost of shipping within the continental United States. If, like me, you are overseas you will need to email store@ngsgenealogy.org for international shipping rates.

Sadly in response to my query on the cost of shipping to the UK I received the following response: “The cost of shipping the book to the United Kingdom is $40.85. To pay the shipping cost an invoice will be added to your online profile for the shipping cost after you purchase the book. You can pay the invoice online with a credit card.”

I have emailed back to ask if there any plans for the book to be available through Amazon or other online book distributors and also to confirm that the $40.85 is actually the shipping cost rather than the cost of the book plus shipping cost. I will update this post once I know but at the moment $70.85 is just a tad overly expensive even for the best genealogical text book ever.