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Lend Your Talents to Research, at the Historical Society | Arts & Culture

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Lend Your Talents to Research, at the Historical Society
Lend Your Talents to Research, at the Historical Society

Genealogy research is a hot topic these days, and the Research Library at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society is one of the busiest resources in the area. We are looking for various volunteers, with various skill-sets, to help computerize our obituary card index for online access. We are undertaking this project so that we can keep up with the volume of requests we get for obituaries and death notices.

We are seeking those with an interest in genealogy, skill in research, data entry, microfilm and/or administrative work, to volunteer on this project. There are three specific "jobs" that we need volunteers to do.

1. Data Entry

Duties include entering names, death dates, newspaper citations, and other information into a computerized database.

Skills include:

  • Experience with Microsoft Access
  • Accurate typing ability
  • Appreciation for genealogical research
  • Understand newspaper citations
  • Be able to work independently

2. Research: Obituary & Death Notice Look-Ups

Find and print death notices and/or obituaries from Buffalo newspapers. Obituaries are one of the most frequently-requested items from our collection, and orders often arrive faster than we can answer them. Ideal for genealogists. Individuals shold have the ability to load newspaper microfilm onto a microfilm reader-printer, read up to a week’s worth of newspapers to find desired name, print a legible copy, record the source on the printout, and mail to recipient.

Skills include:

  • Be comfortable with newspaper microfilm and microfilm reader-printers
  • Enjoy old newspaper stories, ads, and pictures
  • Appreciate helping people locate their ancestors

3. Administrative: Stamping Folders

Stamp folders of photographs and negatives with name of the Library collection to which they belong.

Skills include:

  • Ability to handle archival materials gently
  • Be comfortable working in white cotton gloves
  • Appreciate old pictures

All of these jobs involve some level of repetitiveness--that should be an understanding if you volunteer to do this sort of work. If interested, the Historical Society is requesting a minimum commitment of two hours per week; hours can be worked Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday mornings, with the possibility of Saturday afternoons.

If you are interested, please contact Joyce Bruyere, Volunteer Coordinator, at (716) 873-9644 x323 or volnteer@bechs.org. www.buffalohistory.org.

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society is Western New York’s premier historical organization, serving to collect, research, interpret, and share the Niagara Frontier’s rich history since its founding in 1862. Its collections include more than 100,000 artifacts, 200,000 photographs, and 20,000 books. The Historical Society annually presents a wide array of programs, exhibits, tours, outdoor events, and activities for all ages that utilize many of these resources to tell the stories of both ordinary and extraordinary people of Western New York.

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