Continuing education in genealogy is most important, if one is serious about the quality and veracity of one's research. We recently struggled with the massive application for and are honoured to have acquired the black ribbon of certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. We continue to observe developments in education and professionalism in the field as well as noting interesting discussions in the tussles among the North American professionals over that aged debate: education versus experience. (Never to be resolved, since the answer is both.)
Happily, France is not to be left behind in these developments. The Université de Nîmes launched last year a programme for a Diploma in Genealogy and Family History (Diplôme de généalogie et histoire des familles). The course has been created in response to the enormous growth in the popularity of genealogy as a hobby in France. This year, it is to be offered on Fridays and Saturdays in situ, beginning in January, and lasts one year. It clearly is aimed at giving training to the hobbyist who wishes to take things further, the goals of the course being "to offer a complete practical and theoretical training in the science of genealogy for the purpose of enabling those who practice it privately to improve their efficiency and additionally, to help students of law and history to augment their job prospects."
The theoretical training includes courses in law, especially family law, paleography, heraldry and onomastics. The practical training covers archival research, the construction of a family tree of a local personality, the history of a person or family, the use of military, judicial, administrative and other archives. As it is still a new course, much of it is being developed as the course proceeds and parts will be tailored to individual students' needs.
The fee is 900 euros. To successfully earn the diploma, students must achieve a mark of at least ten out of twenty (and be prepared for the brutality of the French grading customs!) Only 25 students (more than double last year's intake) will be accepted this year and the application deadline is the 28th of this month so, if you fancy a year in the south of France spent brushing up on your French genealogy skills, fill out and send the application form (Download Dossier candidature de généalogie) as quick as ever you can.
See here interviews with the professors and the first twelve students:
©2011 Anne Morddel