NJ State Archives Announces Work from Home Indexing Projects

The New Jersey State Archives (NJSA) announced in April two new indexing projects that were launched as part of the Archives’ new “Work from Home Projects.”

The first indexing project announced by NJSA on 7 April 2020 will include New Jersey Births 1848-1878. The announcement read:

Our first featured project is the automation of the 1848-1878 birth index. Currently 5 very dedicated full- and part-time staff members are building this new resource. The index will eventually be added to our Searchable Databases online. This work will make all three types of records from the earliest period of state vital statistics searchable at our website. In our third full week of data entry from home, staff have now created nearly 27,000 database records. The index information is keyed into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and then uploaded to a shared team space. Then our database coordinator builds the master file.

NJSA then announced on 17 April 2020 their second indexing project consisting of the New Jersey Tax Ratables 1768-1846:

The State Archives holds over 1,800 tax ratable lists spanning the 1768-1846 period, most of which date from 1772 to 1820. These materials are extremely important for local history and genealogy in light of the federal government’s loss, by fire, of the first four federal censuses for our state (1790 to 1820). The original tax lists were closed to public use/handling many years ago due to their fragile condition. Existing microfilm, made in the 1960s or ‘70s, is difficult to read. Thus, in 2019, we embarked on the digitization of this large collection (75 cubic feet altogether!) with the intention of making the lists fully available on our website.

During the current work-at-home period, three staff members are creating index entries using scanned images on portable drives. The process will capture vital information about landholding, slavery, military exemption, etc. The resultant online resource will also facilitate scholarship in connection with the upcoming 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

The completed indexes for New Jersey Births 1848-1878 and the New Jersey Tax Ratables 1768-1846 will join a robust collection of indexes now available on NJSA’s website. CLICK HERE for NJSA’s Searchable Databases page.