Volunteer

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers assist the Society by working at its Boston location or from home. In Boston, there are a variety of library-based activities, such as welcoming visitors, assisting them in locating materials and navigating online databases, or answering basic reference questions. The Publications team seeks volunteers with proofreading, indexing, and source-checking skills. NEHGS is continually adding to its digital collections, so volunteers are needed to scan and transcribe handwritten records.

Please consider joining the 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

Jewish Heritage Center

ATTN: JHC Manager
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 Director
The library needs friendly, welcoming volunteers to greet visitors and orient them within the building. If familiar with certain subject areas, volunteers can apprentice with staff genealogists to assist with research questions. Volunteers who have experience with online databases or the NEHGS microtext collection can help patrons get started with their research. This opportunity is best suited for volunteers who can donate time on a regular basis, generally once a week.

Library Technical Services

ATTN: Technical 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.

Publications

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.

Website

ATTN: Database Services Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteers help create content for AmericanAncestors.org, with support from the Web team. Digitization of images (scanning and Photoshop editing) 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. Two current projects involve the scanning and indexing of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston church records and the fifth generation of Mayflower descendants. These descendants are drawn from Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, often referred to as the "Silver Books." This is a great, “hands-on” way to learn the process of transferring printed material to the Internet. Students may inquire about internship opportunities.