Welcome to the NYG&B Online Collections Help Center, where you will find:
- An overview of our platform and how to use it
- A review of our different collection formats
- Answers to some commonly asked questions
The video below gives an overview of the following topics:
- Navigating the Online Records Platform pages
- Searching all records
- Viewing and refining search results
- Viewing images of records in the image viewer
Because we have preserved a wide variety of digital records, there are a number of different formats available on our website. Read below to familiarize yourself with each type:
These collections are structured a searchable name index - search queries will return results that include a first name, last name, and additional fields depending on the collection. Additional fields will supply more context and provide information such as event type, event date, alternate names, and more. Search results will also provide a link to view the original image where the indexed name appears - additional information is usually available on the original image.
These collections are searchable but are not yet structured by an index - text from these records has been extracted via Optical Character Recognition software. Researchers can search by names, keywords, and phrases - results will return the section of text that matched the query, and some contextual information about the collection and record the name is found in. Search results will also provide a link to view the image of the record where the query appears.
Some collections have images that are not indexed and cannot have their text extracted by Optical Character Recognition software. These collections cannot be searched by text, but images can still be viewed. Each collection description contains a large list of waypoint links that users can use to more easily browse these collections. We're working hard to index all of these collections - learn more about volunteering at the NYG&B if you would like to assist.
Text & Images
Some collections have a combination of volumes that can be searched by text and volumes that are image browse only. The collection page will contain a description of all materials in a collection - if there is a mixture of text and image browse content, the collection page will have a detailed list of what can and cannot be searched.
What collections can I view if I'm not an NYG&B member?
Anyone can search the NYG&B Online Collections, but only NYG&B members can view all digital images.
Some collection images can be viewed by users who are not NYG&B members - all you need to do is register for a free account. The following collections are open to all:
- New York State Birth Index
- New York State Death Index
- New York Times Obituaries Index
- Finding Aid to the Records of St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Finding Aid to the Records of St. Paul's Evangelical Reformed Church
How do I browse individual issues of The Record?
If you have an exact volume or issue of The Record in mind (perhaps one you found from a citation), you can browse issues by volume from the NYG&B Record collection page. On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see a menu that allows you to enter the volume number and click a link to view each issue from that volume.
What does "All NY Counties" mean in the list of counties?
Most of our collections are classified by location at the county level, but a few cover all counties in New York State. Any collection that covers the entirety of the state will be classified with the term "All NY Counties" for the location. Note that when you're refining search results by this term, you're including results from any collection that covers all counties in New York State - search results related to this tag may or may not include results from any given county.