Our volunteers spend a lot of time doing “projects” when not helping patrons research their families, homes, businesses etc.
One of our precious resources is photographs. In years past they were stored here and there and everywhere. At the present time as soon as they are accessioned they are copied and given to a volunteer who scans them and then files them in our safe. The safe is humidity controlled to keep the pictures in good condition. The copy is filed in our Family Files so that patrons can see them. If they want a scanned copy they can purchase at a nominal fee. We are still finding pictures in long forgotten places. They will be scanned and filed as found.
We have some dedicated volunteers that are called our “cut and paste” crew. We have a great card file that houses mainly obituaries but also some births, and other miscellaneous articles on Hillsdale families. These volunteers cut articles, pertinent to genealogy research, out of the current Hillsdale Daily News and prepare them for filing. Other volunteers work at home on a backlog of papers from 1965-2001 doing the same type of work.
Other volunteers do special work of preparing donated material for shelving. This might be making an index, typing material from handwritten documents, slipping data into plastic sleeves so it can be placed in a three-ring notebook, or filing the items the “cut and paste” crew generates.
A few dedicated people collect data from the files and make a collection which is all in a notebook, i.e.; mills, railroads, businesses, etc. or make collages of pictures for display. A project which we have done over the years is making indexes of the Hillsdale Co. census records. They are so much easier to use than the film. Volunteers are currently working on the 1940 census index.
Other current projects are indexing the family files and keeping the other indexes of shelving, file cabinets, & family genealogies up to date. This year we accepted the donation of land records and are currently working to sort and organize them for use in research. We hope that will be accomplished by the end of 2016. It’s a BIG job to sort abstracts, deeds and other land records from this huge collection. We have just accepted several projects from the Hillsdale County Genealogical Society (HCGS). In the past the HCGS has maintained indexes for births, deaths and marriages and given us copies for our shelves. They are no longer able to do these projects so we have taken them over. It’s going to take some time to bring the records up to date but we are working on it.
Would you like to volunteer, we can always use your help. If you are interested, just contact us.