NYG&B Labs provides an innovative space to leverage the latest trends in technology and digital media to assist in discovering, preserving, and sharing the stories of New York State families.
The initiative provides practical, hands-on experience for aspiring digital professionals seeking to advance their expertise in technology and its applications for the fields of history and genealogy.
Read on to learn more about the NYG&B Labs program and see what our exciting current projects involve.
About NYG&B Labs
Each quarter the NYG&B will welcome up to two members of the NYG&B Labs team. As a team member, each participant will work on a designated, pre-approved project. Once completed projects may be added to resources at newyorkfamilyhistory.org or elsewhere.
The NYG&B is specifically seeking team members with an interest in data science, machine learning, geocoding, mapping, social media, web development, history, and other topics.
Members of the NYG&B Labs team will benefit from one-on-one interaction with experts in the fields of genealogy and technology as they work to creatively apply technology to traditional genealogical methods relating to New York’s history.
A minimum of 10 hours per week is required during the quarter and a stipend of $1,250 will be paid to each team member, each quarter. Team members can work from anywhere in the world, though it is preferred that they are able to work out of the NYG&B offices at least 10 hours per week.
How do I become a team member?
Applications to join NYG&B labs are open year-round.
You can start by filling out an application form below, which asks you to provide some basic details about yourself and an outline of the type(s) of project you envision participating in.
Please direct all questions to [email protected].
The NYG&B is specifically seeking team members with an interest in technology, geocoding, mapping, social media, website development, digital services, history, and other topics.
How is NYG&B Labs supported?
NYG&B Labs is made possible through support from donations made to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
Current NYG&B Labs Projects
Mapping The Record
This ambitious project seeks to visualize the 149 years worth of scholarly genealogy on New York families contained in the archives of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.
The project's first phase produced The Record Map Search - a digital interface that allows users to search an index of articles in The Record, and see the locations associated with article search results displayed on a map.
Users can view and filter search results based on location, allowing them to visualize the essential content of The Record in a whole new way.
This tool will allow researchers to zero-in on a specific New York State town, city, or county and easily find all record set transcriptions, compiled genealogies, case studies, and other articles about that specific location.
Researchers can follow alongside professionals and experts as they research in the location of interest, noting record sets, important contextual information, and methodological approaches to help their own research.
This project is currently available to beta test on https://labs.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/.
African North American Migration Networks Across the New York-Ontario Border
In the summer of 2017, NYG&B Labs team members from Manhattan College assisted Professor Adam Arenson in his project tracking and visualizing migration patterns of African North Americans prior to, during, and after the American Civil War. Our labs team assisted with several portions of this project that required the use of technology and genealogical research:
- Locating and geographically visualizing Canadian-born African North Americans in the U.S. Federal Censuses for 1860, 1870, and 1880.
- Analyzing Civil War pension files of African American Civil War soldiers.
- Preparing, cleaning and organizing data from genealogical sources to be ingested, manipulated, and presented by a computer software program.
The data science members of the team were able to organize and present genealogical data related to border crossings through visualization software, while students studying the humanities learned the principles of genealogy research and how to adapt their discoveries to machine-compatible data.
This project is still ongoing, and we hope to help Professor Arenson make further progress in the coming months.
To learn more about the project you can read blog posts from the participants:
- Data Analytics in Historical Sources, by Jan Hoffmann
- Cleaning Data and Finding Tools for Historical Sources, by Jan Hoffmann
- Genealogy, Liberal Arts, and Applying My Research Skills, by Victoria Thomas
- Overcoming research challenges through teamwork, by Victoria Thomas
We make continual progress on both of these projects, so please check back again soon to see the exciting new things these teams are accomplishing.
If you have any ideas related to these two projects (or something in an entirely different, but fascinating direction), please submit an application below! We would love to hear from you.
Apply to NYG&B Labs
We accept applications year-round. Please email [email protected] with any questions.