Broad Street inn, once home to Edward Rutledge, sold

The Governor's Inn at 117 Broad Street in downtown Charleston has been purchased for $5.1 million.

If the days continue to pass as quickly as they have, I'll be joining 200 other genealogists for an institute in Birmingham, Ala., before I know it.

My excitement mounts as I assemble books and materials needed for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University.

This will be my second year at the weeklong institute, a summer destination for driven genealogists since 1962. Most genealogists studying at Samford this June have attended the institute before, many of them several times.

And most of the institute's faculty members have national reputations in the field.

It's a fertile environment.

In 2009, I took the "Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis" class. In future years, I'll probably choose "Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents" or "Research in the South" or "U.S. Military Records."

This year, however, it's "Writing and Publishing for Genealogists."

The opportunity to sit in class with genealogists who have thought seriously about their writing will be a real gift. As the genealogy columnist here at The Post and Courier, I am looking forward to extended discussions with other researchers. I'm curious about their thoughts on genealogical writing. And I want to get their feedback on some of my thoughts.

Of course, most of our discussions will be driven by the 18 or so genealogical writing topics we are set to cover in class. Ones that look particularly interesting are "Organizing Your Ancestors in Genealogical Format," "Snares and Pitfalls of Writing a Narrative Family History," "Analytical Writing: Client Reports, Proof Summaries, and Other 'Unpublished' Works."

Sharing experiences with colleagues is essential to continued growth in a field and keeping abreast of new issues as they arise.

There is no better place to share such experiences than an environment such as that at Samford, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy or the National Institute on Genealogical Research.

Too often we view genealogy as a solitary avocation to be shared with a few genealogy buddies, but there is a big genealogy community out there. I wholeheartedly advocate taking advantage of the opportunities insti-tutes afford to learn and grow.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705 or wminis@postandcourier.com.