A Chance to Help and Have Fun, Too!

Are you bored at home? Looking for a creative and interesting outlet? Maybe it’s time you signed up to become a Citizen Archivist.

The National Archives and Records Administration is requesting help transcribing historical records through their Citizen Archivist program. NARA is the nation’s record keeper, and a real treasure trove for those interested in history,

Besides preserving some of our country’s most important records—think the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—it also retains many other documents important to private citizens, such as military, immigration and naturalization records.

One of the collections available is the TVA Family Removal and Population Readjustment Case Files, 1937-1948. When we built our hydroelectric projects, TVA sent caseworkers to homes and businesses to gather data about folks who would be impacted—often relocated—by these construction projects. These records provide a glimpse of how different families lived, capturing their level of education, where they worked and worshiped, as well as other important data. The information is a goldmine for genealogists and other researchers.

While the National Archives is headquartered in Washington, D.C., there are branch repositories scattered across the country.  Most of TVA’s historically significant records have been transferred to the National Archives facility in Atlanta, Georgia.

“There are tens of thousands of pages in the TVA Family Removal series that are ready for transcription, tagging, and comments,” says Maureen Hill, archivist at the Atlanta facility. She went on to add the importance of this type of crowdsource it work, “It adds value to the records by improving access and searchability. And it's fun!”

If you are interested in becoming a Citizen Archivist, please visit the website to register and get started! Find a tutorial here.