Volunteering Opportunities

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There are many ways to contribute your time and talents to forwarding the mission of the NYG&B. We have projects to build and enrich the eLibrary, projects to serve members, and projects to support various NYG&B activities. There is something of interest for everyone and something that matches your skill and experience.

Contents

Projects to Enrich our eLibrary

Indexing

The NYGB's team of indexers makes our growing eLibrary searchable and accessible to our members. Indexing can be done from the convenience of your own home anywhere in the world. Volunteers are sent scanned document pages by email from which they are able to easily extract data into an Excel spreadsheet. Indexing of the 1855 New York State Census for Ward 17 is currently in progress. Future indexing projects include: Reverend Schneider's baptismal records; St. Paul's Church records; and St. Luke's Church records.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; home computer with internet access, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free downloadable program).

Suggested time commitment: two or more hours per month.

Proofreading

Proofreaders are needed to verify the accuracy of data entry by arbitrating any discrepancies in the duplicate indexes that are created for each document.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; home computer with internet access, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free downloadable program); ability to handle multiple files at one time. Can be done remotely, but some on-site training is needed.

Suggested time commitment: three months, two or more hours per week.

Digital Quality Control

Quality controllers will verify that scanned documents are readable and in proper page order before they are uploaded to our website.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; high comfort level with computers and digital documents. On-site presence required.

Suggested time commitment: three months, four or more hours per week.

Document Scanning

Volunteers will be trained to scan printed materials and clean up previously scanned text and images.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; high comfort level with computers and digital documents. On-site presence required.

Suggested time commitment: four or more hours per month.

Document Integration and Uploading

Trained volunteers will integrate and upload document collections and indexes to the eLibrary using CONTENTdm, the digital management collection software produced by OCLC. On-site presence required.

Qualifications: High comfort level with computers and digital documents; previous experience with CONTENTdm and OCR helpful.

Suggested time commitment: three months, two or more hours per week.

Digital Project Leaders

Digital project leaders are needed to create a strategy document and protocols for digitizing and indexing each document collection and to provide supervision to the volunteer team.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; high comfort level with computers and digital documents. On-site presence required.

Suggested time commitment: six months, four or more hours per week.

Digital Project Assistants

The digital project assistants will be the primary contacts for each team of indexers. They will distribute the scanned document pages; collect completed spreadsheets and distribute them to the proofreaders; maintain a tracking document; and communicate as needed with individual indexers.

Qualifications: Ability to read handwriting; attention to detail; home computer with internet access, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free downloadable program). Can be done remotely, but some on-site presence is needed.

Suggested time commitment: six months, three or more hours per week.

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Projects to Serve NYG&B Members

Minisearch - Member Lookups

The NYG&B has introduced a Minisearch service for members.  While many members live outside the New York region and cannot easily travel to our local repositories to make copies of documents, other members regularly conduct research at local repositories, such as the Milstein Division of the NYPL and the Municipal or National Archives, where they could copy the very information another member needs.  Our goal is to build a team of volunteers who are experienced in using local repositories and willing to print copies of specific records – e.g. genealogy excerpt, birth certificate, passenger arrival record – that a member has already identified.  This is a very direct way to help your fellow members. 

Suggested time commitment: three months, two or more hours per month.

Content Development for Website

Volunteers can help make the new NYG&B website the best source for information on New York family history research by helping us develop new content. Among our goals is to compile a list of major New York repositories with descriptions of their holdings and links; compile a list of websites with online resources for New York State research; reach out to other organizations to expand the New York Family History School calendar of programs; create an index of and update the most valuable articles in Research Aids; create finding aids to selected portions of the NYG&B collection at the Milstein Division.

Qualifications: Knowledge and experience of resources for New York family history research; good writing skills; familiarity with the internet, Word, and Excel. Can be done remotely, but some on-site presence is needed.

Suggested time commitment: three months, three or more hours per week.

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Projects to Support NYG&B Activities

Member Mailings

Enjoy the company of other volunteers and staff as you stuff, seal, and stamp. No knowledge of technology required! Mailings take place on a rolling basis throughout the year and volunteers are called as needed.

Raiser's Edge Membership Database

Do you have or wish to gain experience in using Raiser's Edge, the world's most popular membership database that is widely used by cultural organizations, schools, and other nonprofit organizations? Volunteers are needed to help enter data and generate reports.

Qualifications: Attention to detail; facility with database or spreadsheet programs; experience with Raiser's Edge helpful but not required; training available. On-site presence required.

Suggested time commitment: three months, two or more hours per week.

Event and Program Staffing

Help man the check-in table at programs and events, greet guests, and answer questions about the NYG&B.

Event Coverage

The NYG&B has joined the social network with pages on Twitter and Facebook. Now volunteers are needed to do timely write-ups of NYG&B programs and events that they attend and to supply photographs.

Qualifications: Good writing and/or photographic skills.

Conference Booth Staffing

If you are planning to attend one of the national genealogy conferences, please consider signing up as a volunteer in the NYG&B booth.  Suggested time commitment: one hour or more.

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