Indexing and Digitization Weekend Wrap Up

Our first Indexing and Digitization Weekend of 2017 was a huge success! Hundreds of volunteers – at our offices in Manhattan and across the country via the internet – spent Friday and Saturday hard at work, and exceeded even our wildest expectations.

Volunteers indexed records from our New York State Religious Records collection, created by Royden Woodward Vosburgh, and digitizing numerous smaller NYG&B collections.

We went into the weekend hoping to index 15,000 records, and we far surpassed that goal! Here are the final numbers:

  • Over 26,000 records indexed
  • Over 50,000 records digitized

Volunteers were sent links to batches of images of Vosburgh’s expert typeface transcriptions, and they indexed the names using custom forms created by the NYG&B.

Each image was indexed by two different volunteers – this will allow NYG&B staff and volunteers to assess each index entry to ensure accuracy and quality.

The event took place all day Friday and Saturday, but some indexers just couldn’t get enough – several enthusiastic volunteers carried on through Sunday and Monday!


One of our volunteers, Jay, uses an index card scanning machine. Jay was a big part of the team that digitized nearly 50,000 records!

We were joined by some members of the Findmypast team, who helped provide some excellent digitization expertise and equipment.

Watch Sue Miller of the NYG&B and Jen Baldwin from Findmypast demonstrate how our volunteers captured so many images this weekend:

Our volunteers also found some famous New Yorkers in the records:

  • John Jacob Astor
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Alexander Hamilton

And of course, plenty of interesting names of non-famous persons were uncovered. Some of our favorites, submitted by our volunteers:

  • Wealthy Waters (full name)
  • Washington Quackenbush (male first name)
  • Euphronica (female first name)
  • Purthany (female first name)
Josh Taylor and Sue Miller of the NYG&B drawing our contest winners.

Josh Taylor and Sue Miller of the NYG&B drawing our contest winners.

Each day’s volunteers were entered into a drawing to win one of the following prizes:

We will be in touch with our 8 winners via email shortly!

Thanks to all of the volunteers who participated in this project and made it such an amazing success! We look forward to more indexing and digitization events in the near future.


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