Why Volunteer?

Volunteers assist the staff by working at the research library or from home. In Boston, there are a variety of library-based activities, such as assisting patrons to locate research materials, navigate online databases, or answer basic reference questions. The Publications team seeks volunteers with proofreading, indexing, and source-checking skills. We are continually adding to our digital collections, so volunteers are needed to scan and transcribe text or handwritten records. Some transcription projects can be done from home.

Please consider joining our growing cadre of volunteers. We promise you will enjoy the experience, and the time you contribute helps to enrich the NEHGS experience for others! For more information on the volunteer program, contact Helen Herzer by email at hherzer@nehgs.org or by phone 617-226-1276.

Volunteer Opportunities

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center

ATTN: Associate Director of Archives and Education
The Jewish Heritage Center seeks volunteers interested in assisting with translation work (Yiddish, Hebrew, and German, primarily) and transcribing handwritten materials for our digital archives. Translation and transcription work can be done remotely. People with previous archival experience (either processing or using archival collections in research) can be considered for small processing projects.

Library Patron Services

ATTN: Library Patron Services Manager
Volunteers who have experience with online databases and can locate materials in the Library may assist patrons who are getting started with their research. This opportunity is best suited for those who are already familiar with NEHGS library collections and can donate time on a regular basis, generally once a week.

Library Collection Services

ATTN: Library Collection Services Manager
Volunteers with computer skills are needed to help with a variety of cataloging and data entry tasks. Processing of new books is a regular task. Help is also needed with inventory and retrieval of books and journals from the library stacks. Certain tasks require some bending and lifting. For volunteers with a background in bookbinding, the conservation department is always in need of those with hand skills in repairing books and manuscripts.


ATTN: Assistant Publishing Director
Seeking volunteers who have proofreading, indexing, source-checking, photo research, book layout/design, or project management skills to assist with NEHGS book publication projects. Here is your chance to take part in creating valuable new resources for the genealogical field.


ATTN: Database Services Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteers help create content for AmericanAncestors.org, with support from the Web team. Digitization of images, scanning, is done at the Boston location, but database projects can be done either onsite or from home. Volunteers work from handwritten or text documents, extracting information into a spreadsheet, or assist with proofreading the data. The Web team provides training; however, volunteers must possess a basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel. This is a great, “hands-on” way to learn the process of transferring printed material to the Internet. Students may inquire about internship opportunities. Please contact Rachel Adams at rachel.adams@nehgs.org for our current list of projects.