NEWSFLASH - Volunteers are now encouraged to apply. See below.
We are now seeking volunteers to assist in a variety of roles. Some will require presence at our facility in the Community Center, others can be done from home. Take a look at the possibilties below and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and a brief note on skills and capabilities you can bring. We'll get back to you within a few days. There are multiple opportunities for each Task.
Take the newspapers from file drawers, select the 'best' copy and ready it for scanning. Inventory the paper.
Once the papers are scanned, the scans need to be double-checked and then the papers can be boxed and racked. Needs an Eagle Eye!
Schedule volunteers, monitor supplies, track progress and keep things spic and span.
Q: What does 'digitizing' mean?
A: Taking something that exists in reality and making a replica of it that is described by numbers. In our case, pages of newspaper articles are turned into images that can be searched to help find facts and references
Q: Why are you doing this. I thought the papers were already available electronically.
A: Yes, the papers are available electronically but the quality of the scans is poor enough that they are sometimes unreadable and often cannot be fully indexed for searching on the computer.
Q: What's OCR
A: OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It describes techniques used to turn images of printed or photographed characters back into letters and words. It's how they recognize the number on your tags when you get a ticket from a speeding camera. Yippee!
A: Do you have all the papers.
Q: Not quite all, there are a few missing out of 80 years-worth but the missing ones are likely obtainable from other sources, e.g. the Greenbelt Library, to fill the gaps.
Q: Why are the papers in bad shape - did you not take care of them?
A: The papers have been carefully stored but not perhaps in the best way. They are all in the News Review offices in the Community Center, stored folded in plastic bags in file drawers. But the cheap paper is very acid and it gets gradually browner and crumbles as the acid destroys the fibers of the paper.
Q: Where will this work take place?
A: Mostly in our room in the Community Center (thanks to the City!) but some work at home possibilities exist.
Q: Do I need to be a librarian or something to help?
A: No. We'd love some librarians (who wouldn't) but if you care about what you're doing, we can use your help.
Q: I'm only available a few hours a week or just from time to time. Can i still help.
A: Sure. Once you know how to do your job, we can schedule you in time slots of approximately two-hours per 'shift'.
Q: I need volunteer experience to graduate. Will this count?
Q: Do you have internships available?
A: We are planning to have interns from the Library Science department at the University of Maryland - but if you have suitable skills, let us know of your interest. Internships may be paid or unpaid depending on your qualifications and our needs.
Q: Is there heavy lifting involved?
A: If you can lift this web page or even one copy of the News Review, we have work for YOU!
Q: I am disabled, can you still use my help.
A: Yes. With such a variety of things to be done, we are sure to have something that is accessible to you.
Q: Can the work be done from home?
A: There will be some opportunities to work from home but all those involving the physical newspapers directly will be in the office.
The silent auction and fundraiser held in March were very successful, jointly raising over $12,000. We were grateful to win a grant from the Greenbelt Community Foundation for $5,000 and have recently submitted a proposal to Council Vice-Chair Todd Turner for a discretionary grant of $10,000. Fingers crossed! We are pleased with our financial progress but estimate that we will still need $20,000 in additional funds to complete the two-year plan.
Below, as soon as it's done, you'll see our first product. Exciting times...
Over 60 years of our community's history documented in the Greenbelt News Review and its predecessor, the Cooperator, lie in the balance as the highly acidic paper it was printed on turns to dust. The current electronic archive is poor and the new digital archive we plan will preserve the newspaper long term. If the newspapers aren't scanned soon, they will become too fragile.
We are now entering an active phase. We are completing purchase of equipment and supplies. The computing equipment is up and running and we're organizing our workspace. and recruiting volunteers. We hope to count YOU among this number.
We need and value your help. There is organizational, scanning, fundraising, grant-writing and computer work to be done. Give your time, your energy or your money - we're not picky! All will make a difference to preserving the history of this unique community.
Donate by sending a check made out to Greenbelt Archive Project to Greenbelt Archive Project, 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt MD 20770
We have 25,000 pages to scan and process. The average per page cost is $2 and a single week's issue averages about $20. You can save a month for $80 and a year for $1,000. A small price to capture a city's history. Donations can be made via PayPal or by sending a check made out to Greenbelt Archive Project to Greenbelt Archive Project, 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
We usually get in touch within 24 hours