Volunteer for American Ancestors/NEHGS

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers assist the staff by working at the research library or from home. From library-based activities to digitization and transcription projects, the time you contribute helps us to educate, inspire, and connect people through family history. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please see below.

Person with glasses looking at documents

Volunteer Opportunities

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center

The Wyner Family 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.

Contact: Gabrielle Roth, Collections Management Archivist


Library Patron Services

Volunteers who have experience with online databases and can locate materials in the Research Center may assist patrons who are getting started with their research. This opportunity is best suited for those who are already familiar with the American Ancestors/NEHGS collections and can donate time on a regular basis, generally once a week.

Contact: Library Patron Services Manager

Library Collection Services

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.

Contact: Library Collection Services Manager


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

Contact: Cécile Engeln, Assistant Publishing Director


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.

Contact: Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator