The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) was the first centre for Family History Studies. Founded in 1961, it offers a wide range of courses on family history, heraldry and related historical subjects. With its formidable library and collections of manuscripts and research facilities, it was brought to Canterbury's Northgate and housed in fine medieval buildings by Cecil Humphery-Smith.
Apart from its highly acclaimed correspondence course, now available online and by post, the Institute offers a selection of day, evening and weekend courses, all of which can be enjoyed purely as a means of extending personal knowledge of family history, or with the intention of taking the Institute's examinations and gaining recognised professional qualifications.
The IHGS runs its own bookshop, which can be visited in person or online, and offers the use of its extensive library to members of the public. Expert advice on family history and heraldic research is available.
The Institute is managed as an educational charitable Trust and is supported in its academic work by Achievements, a non-profit making centre for genealogical research and artwork.