Frequently Asked Questions about the NYG&B

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Here are frequently asked questions and answers. If you need further help, contact us via email or phone. 

Go directly to questions about our website.

Can I visit the NYG&B?

Members are welcome to visit the NYG&B by appointment. Since we gave our research collections to the NYPL in 2008, we do not have a research library in our facility. We encourage you to do research at the New York Public Library, located a few short blocks from our offices. Also, while you are in the New York City area, plan to visit the other research centers in New York City (including the Municipal Archives, the National Archives in New York City, and the New-York Historical Society) and other locations.

What is the NYG&B’s relationship with the New York Public Library (NYPL)?

The NYG&B and the NYPL are complementary though entirely independent organizations.

In 2008, the NYG&B gave its collection of books and research material to the NYPL along with support to add it to the NYPL’s digital catalog.  For assistance to find items from the NYG&B Collection at the NYPL and for Catalog search tips, read our guide.

An extraordinarily large proportion of researchers at the NYPL are working on family history research, and the various departments of the NYPL constitute one of the great genealogical research resources in the world. The Milstein Division of the NYPL is the centerpiece of that resource. View our guide to the resources of the NYPL for genealogists.

The NYG&B and the NYPL jointly sponsor educational programs that take place in the Stephen Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street in New York City. The NYG&B also produces programming of its own that is offered there and elsewhere.  The NYG&B participates with the NYPL’s education department to produce programming for students, teachers, and patrons of the NYPL’s branch libraries.

I want to find out about my family but I don’t know where to start. Could the NYG&B help me get started?

We encourage you to start by reading our guide for beginners, Getting Started On Your Family History, which will give you the best methods to start your search. Plan to join us at some of our events, where you’ll hear expert advice and guidance for your search.

Do you have a list of genealogists for hire?

Yes. We have compiled a list of genealogists available to help you. You may also  visit the website of the Association of Professional Genealogists where you will find a list of members and their specialties. Note that membership in the APG is not itself a credential.

I posted a query in the Genealogical Exchange and it didn't show up. Why?

Queries first need to be approved by an administrator. That means there is a wait time for the posting of queries. We try to review queries once every business day.

How can I participate with the NYG&B?

The best way to participate is by volunteering. There are all kinds of tasks that need support, some of which can be done from home. See the next question below.

Read a description of current volunteer opportunities, along with the qualifications and time commitment for each position. Some assignments require your presence on-site at the NYG&B during business hours while others can be accomplished in your own home on your own schedule.

What does it cost to become a member of the NYG&B?

We offer memberships in the online store. The basic annual membership for an individual is $70. The best value membership for an individual is the two-year membership at $120.

How can I sign up for an event?

You’re welcome to sign up for an event through our website or by calling our Education Department at 212-755-8532, ext. 211.  Generally events that require a payment for admission have limited seating, and so advance purchase is necessary. Many events are free and do not require advance sign-up.

The event that I want is sold out. What should I do?

You may call our Education Department at 212-755-8532, ext. 211 to be placed on a wait-list for the event. 

Are your events free?

It depends on the event and the location. Information on pricing for each event is available in the event description.  When there is a charge for NYG&B events, members receive a substantial discount.

I need to report an error on your website.

Please email webmaster@nygbs.org with any errors or omissions that you see on our website.

I’ve forgotten my username and password – what should I do?

First click the login button. At the next screen, click "forgot your user name and password" and follow the instructions.  A link will be sent to your email account that allows you to reset your password.  If the link does not work or you do not receive an email, please call us at 212-755-8532 during regular business hours, or send email to webmaster@nygbs.org. We will respond promptly. 

I know my username and password, but they don't work – what should I do?

First click the login button. At the next screen, click "forgot your user name and password" and follow the instructions.  A link will be sent to your email account that allows you to reset your password.  If the link does not work or you do not receive an email, please call us at 212-755-8532 during regular business hours, or send email to webmaster@nygbs.org. We will respond promptly.

I'm a member and I want to use the website but I've never been given a username and password – what should I do?

Please send an email to webmaster@nygbs.org or call us at 212-755-8532 during regular business hours and we will set you up with a username and password. 

How do I search the NYG&B’s website?

The NYG&B’s new website allows you to do a global search of the website using the search bar at the top right of your screen.  This website search does not apply to the contents of our eLibrary, which may searched separately.  Follow this User's Guide to learn how to optimize your experience of the eLibrary, including the best way to search the eLibrary collections.

What is the best way to search the eLibrary?

Follow this User's Guide to learn how to optimize your experience of the eLibrary, including the best way to search the eLibrary collections.

What is the most effective way to search The Record online?

Read our detailed instructions

How can I print pages from the eLibrary?

Press CTRL+P or right click on your mouse and choose print. You will be given the option to print the whole document or singular pages.

What new materials have you added to the website?

View a list of new and updated Research Tools; view a list of our expanded eLibrary and click on a title for further information.

Where do the images on the website come from?

The documentary photographs on the NYG&B website are from the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the New York State Archives. Family photographs were contributed by NYG&B members, interns, and volunteers exclusively for use on the NYG&B website; additional information about and credits for these photographs are available on our Flickr page.

When I am in the store and go to checkout, I am asked for my customer login even though I am already logged in as a member.  Then I type in my member username and password and it does not accept them.  Why?

When you go to checkout, you actually land on a page that belongs to our shopping provider and is outside our website.   If this is your first purchase in the store, please ignore the customer login request and choose the option “Continue as guest.”  You will be asked to enter your address and contact info, and you will be given the option to save this information by creating a customer username and password for the store.  They can be the same as the ones you use to log in to our website, or different.  

*update 12/29/2011 - We have disabled the customer login option for the store. 

Why can't I access members-only pages of the website after I visit the online store even though I am still  logged in?

If you return to the Research & Discover page after visiting the online store, there is a glitch that will take you to the non-members version of this page.  To correct this, go the homepage and click the Research & Discover tab; it will take you to the members version of this page, which is the gateway to the eLibrary and to Research Tools.

How do I update my membership contact information?

Please send an email to membership@nygbs.org with any changes to your address, telephone, or email address.  Although it is possible to update your email address when you are logged in, this change will only appear on your website record and will not automatically be carried over to our membership database and eNews mailing list.

You said you would send me an email but I did not receive it.

Sometimes we will reply to an email from a member or send an email to a member's correct email address and it will go to their Junk Mail folder.  In cases like this, we receive no automatic notification that our email did not reach your inbox.  To make sure that you receive all of our email messages, please add membership@nygbs.org and any direct email addresses for NYG&B staff you are in communication with to your Safe List.  Recently, emails that we have sent to addresses associated with Prodigy (which include sbc.global.net and snet.net addresses, among others) have bounced back to us due to a conversion problem between the Prodigy mail server and the Microsoft mail server which transmits our emails through Outlook.  If your email provider uses the Prodigy server, please contact them and ask them to add our domain (@nygbs.org) to their Safe List. 

I did not receive my issues of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record or The New York Researcher – whom do I contact?

Please contact our membership department at 212-755-8532, ext. 207 or send email to membership@nygbs.org.  We will mail you a replacement issue and make sure your address is correct for future mailings.

I am not receiving the monthly eNewsletter. How can I subscribe?

Go to the homepage of this website and enter your email address in the eNews subscription box. You will automatically be added as a subscriber. Subscriptions are free. If your email address becomes obsolete, it will be deleted automatically. If you subscribe more than once with the same email address, the system will delete duplicate addresses.

Do you accept advertising in your publications?

Advertising is welcome in The Record and The New York Researcher.  Learn about our advertising rates and sizes.

I am interested in submitting work for publication in The Record or The Researcher – whom should I contact?

Please click here for information on writing for The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

If you’re interested in submitting work for The New York Researcher, please email education@nygbs.org for more information.