RICHMOND, VA, 31 MAY 2023—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) began its Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, on 31 May 2023 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Its FOCUS event—supporting genealogical society members and reference services/librarians—included a luncheon and afternoon sessions. Luncheon speaker and 2020 Filby Award recipient Kris Rzepczynski, senior archivist of the Archives of Michigan, gave a talk entitled, “Preservation and Access: Digital Initiatives at the Archives of Michigan.” NGS Awards Chair Judy Nimer Muhn presented several awards to honor the conference’s winners of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship, NGS Newsletter Competition, and the Rubincam Youth Writing Competition.
Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship
Matthew Rutherford, curator of genealogy and local history at the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, received the 2023 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship along with its $1,000 prize. Created in 1999 by NGS, the award is named for the late P. William Filby, former director of the Maryland Historical Society and author of many core genealogical reference tools that genealogists have relied on for decades. It is presented annually at the NGS Family History Conference. ProQuest—a provider of content, technologies, and expertise for libraries and researchers—has sponsored the award since 2006.
Rutherford works in the Genealogy and Local History Collection at the Newberry—a historically significant and extensive collection of records and databases for family history research. He began his career at the Newberry in 2004 and was promoted to curator in 2009. Since becoming curator, he has personally assisted approximately 7,500 researchers, ensuring that genealogical researchers are served in person and remotely. Rutherford has also guided the preservation, development, and expansion of Newberry’s genealogy collection.
NGS Newsletter Competition
The winners of the 2023 NGS Newsletter Competition, honoring excellence in newsletter editorship in two categories, are:
Newsletter for a Small Society with less than 500 members
Winner: Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter, Fairfax Genealogical Society, Editors Caroline Brethauer, Stephanie Glotfelty, Ruth Sando
Newsletter for a Large Society with more than 500 members
Winner: Jots from Western Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society, Editor Rebecca Kichta Miller
Rubincam Youth Writing Competition
The Rubincam Youth Writing Competition was established in 1986 to encourage and recognize our youth as the next generation of family historians. It honors Milton Rubincam, CG, FASG, FNGS, for his many years of service to NGS and to the field of genealogy.
Junior Rubincam Youth Award
Winner: Adrienne Moseley, "Stories of My Mother”
Honorable Mentions: Sufi Momin, "A South Asian's Journey from Africa to America," and Elina Fahs, "A Lifetime of Happiness and Love"
Senior Rubincam Youth Award
Winner: Theodore M. Tarter, "My Genealogical Journey: A Narrative of Risks, Sacrifices, and Adventures"
Honorable Mention: Sophia Renata Zalipsky, "A Lineage of Ukrainian-American Women Who Pushed the Boundaries of Their Time to Bring Awareness and Support for Freedom and Independence of Their Ancestral Homeland: Khemych*Sharan*Olearchyk*Zalipsky"
The NGS 2023 Family History Conference continues through Saturday, 3 June.