For the past 50 years, the efforts of our Research Library volunteers make our resources available to local and global patrons. It is through their generosity that the library is able to offer a wide variety of services.We seek volunteers that want to share their passion for local and family history with others. While the majority of our volunteer projects are behind the scenes, we have recently expanded our volunteer opportunities.
Our librarians will work with you to find a project that matches your schedule, skill set, and interests. Our volunteers all receive training and orientation regarding the library and the St. Augustine Historical Society. Once you are comfortable with your project, you can work at your own pace. We provide detailed work guides and are always available to assist you.
Volunteers range in age from college students to retirees. You have the opportunity to work in a pleasant relaxed setting with friendly and interesting people. Our volunteers bring special skills to our projects and share a special bond knowing they are helping to preserve our history for future generations. Volunteers participate in lectures, field trips, and special gatherings in order to learn more about St. Augustine and St. Johns County.To become a volunteer please complete the online volunteer application.
Have questions? Contact Debby Willis, Assistant Librarian to learn more about current volunteer opportunities.
Photographic Scanning Project
We have an extensive photographic collection that we are digitizing for preservation and access. Our photographic collection includes photographic prints, glass plates, slides, stereopticons and negatives. You will have the opportunity to see rarely seen St. Augustine photos and make them available through scanning and cataloging. Volunteers wishing to scan should have a good computer background and a willingness to learn basic Photoshop applications. You will scan the photograph and then provide a detailed description of the image that will be used in our online catalog.
Scanning the photograph is only half of the project. The information you provide is used in the online catalog along with a thumbnail of the cataloged image. This is a great project for someone who is detailed orientated and comfortable working on a computer. You will take the scanned image and description and enter the information into our catalog.
Documenting St. Augustine in Photographs
The face of St. Augustine and its various neighborhoods is rapidly changing as buildings are remodeled, demolished due to hurricane damage or torn down for new buildings. This project seeks to create a photographic reference point for what St. Augustine looked like. You will be trained in how to do the photographic documentation, take the photographs, document the where and when and upload the photos to a new database. In the future architects, researchers and historians will have a reference for what St. Augustine looked like during the period of this project.
Architectural Drawings Project
The library needs several volunteers to work with the architectural records, primarily drawings, in our collection and make them available to our patrons. The project involves reviewing the drawings, gathering information about them and putting them into a database.
Newspaper Indexing Project
Local newspapers provide insight into what was going on in St. Augustine but because they are not indexed the information is difficult to find. This project involves reading newspapers on microfilm, finding the top stories, obituaries or marriages and recording the information for entry into our online catalog. The project will cover newspapers from 1821 to the early 2000’s.
The Research Library has a microfilm copy of Spanish Governmental records from 1784 to 1821 known as the East Florida Papers. Selected important documents need to be translated from their original Spanish to make them available to all of our patrons. This information is useful to historians, archeologists and genealogists. For example estate inventories give insight into the lives of early residents as well as a window into the material culture. These projects require the ability to read Spanish and 18th and 19th century Spanish handwriting.
A third of our patrons are researching their family history. We have many resources but want to add more. There are various genealogical projects, including transcribing marriages, baptisms and burials from church records; obituaries from the St. Augustine Record; improving the organization of thebiographical files; and entering genealogical information into our online catalog. Additional projects are available.
Oral History Program
The volunteer coordinator assists the Assistant Librarian in managing our volunteers. You will help to recruit new volunteers, organize the work schedule and develop programs to train and educate our volunteers.