Interested in Volunteering? Here's How You Can Help!

Volunteering with the NYG&B is a great way to actively support a community dedicated to researching New York ancestors. And there are so many ways to help, whether remotely or at one of our bustling Digitization Centers.

If you are new to volunteering with the NYG&B and have a question about how you can help, you can send an inquiry to volunteer@nygbs.org. Our volunteer coordinator will then add you to our mailing list for future opportunities and reply to any questions you may have.

Ways to Volunteer

Digitizing New York Records

Volunteer using the NYG&B scanner

As part of our mission to preserve New York history and through our Digitize New York initiative, we actively digitize records and documents. Volunteers doing digitization will be trained on how to use our scanning equipment, image quality control, and best practices for file management.

Our New York City Digitization Center has a state-of-the-art CopiBook OS A2 Scanner that we aim to have working on a continuous basis, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. with volunteers working in two- or three-hour shifts, when possible.

Interested in working in our NYC Digitization Center? Attend a Volunteer Orientation! Our Manager of Digital Collections will provide training in scanning, indexing, and editing as well as assess your aptitude for the digitization process. Orientations are held each month—see current schedule and registration details.

Volunteers who demonstrate ease and comfort with the technology and a desire to return will be invited to sign up for future volunteer spots.

Indexing New York Records

Our indexing volunteers adds new records that can be searched online. Indexing can be done either at our office or remotely from wherever volunteers may be. Volunteers are given scanned document pages in batches and complete an indexing form. 

See our New York Land Records Indexing Project as an example. Please email volunteer@nygbs.org for more information on our current indexing projects.

Two volunteers processing retrieved records

Assisting with Member and Event Services

Office Administration

Mailings: Enjoy the company of other volunteers and staff as you stuff, seal, and stamp. No knowledge of technology required! Mailings are a vital way for us to communicate with and stay connected to our community. Mailings take place on a rolling basis throughout the year, and volunteers are called as needed.

Event and Program Staffing

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

Record Retrieval

We are always looking for volunteers who are experienced in using local repositories across New York State.

Record retrieval involves traveling to a repository and getting a copy or a digital picture of a specific record that a member has identified as needing, such as a family file from the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library or a birth certificate at the New York City Municipal Archives.

Reimbursement of reasonable travel fees (e.g., bus or subway fare) associated with a retrieval is provided after receipts are submitted to the NYG&B.

For more information on how to volunteer in these areas, email volunteer@nygbs.org.