Wednesday, April 18, 2018

National Volunteer Week: What Can You Do?

I often post about opportunities to volunteer and help with various genealogical and historical projects.  It's a way of giving back, plus it makes more information available to everyone.  I haven't run across that many projects since my most recent post, but seeing that it's National Volunteer Week right now (running April 15-21 this year), it seemed like a good time to publicize what I have.

In the late 1930's, Kitchener Camp, near Sandwich, Kent, England, was used to house male Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.  A Web site has been created to collect documents, letters, photographs, and histories of the camp and share them in an online exhibition.  Materials from November 1938 through 1942 are being sought.  The creators of the site plan to donate the collected materials in 2019, the 80th anniversary of the camp's establishment, to an appropriate institution for permanent preservation.  A form is available if you have anything you can contribute to this memorial.  If you can identify anyone in the photos that are already posted on the site, that information is also welcome.

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This one will be relevant primarily for people in Australia.  The Australian National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) has asked for help in identifying hundreds of photographs of acting hopefuls who were looking for a break in the 1930's.  Most of the photos, which were submitted to a casting call, are of young women.  The photos themselves all appear to be online on this site, which is arranged as an exhibition, and images of some of the original casting books can be found here.  Contact information for NFSA is on this page.

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The Boston Public Library has a project to transcribe its significant Anti-Slavery Manuscript collection.  Many, many volunteers are needed to help with the approximately 40,000 items.  The goal is to have everything transcribed iinto searchable text to assist researchers of all types.  The transcription site was created and is hosted by Zooniverse, a common platform for this type of work.  More information on the project and how to sign up is available here.

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Chicago's Newberry Library has several crowdsourced transcription projects on its own site that need volunteers.  Current projects shown are "Family Life in the Midwest", "U.S. Western Expansion", and "American Indian History."  Earlier this year a collection of Continental Army clothing receipts during the American Revolution was being worked on, but perhaps it has been completed, as it does not currently appear on the site.

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Unfortunately, this one isn't about volunteering as much as it is about providing information.  A funeral home in Montrose, Colorado was shut down in February 2018, and the FBI is requesting that people report their experiences with it.  An article goes into some detail about the investigation, and a link to an online questionnaire is provided.

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