Citizen Historians Wanted

HistoryForge is powered by volunteers.

Volunteers move the project forward to create a project that encourages history and historical narrative.

In the process, volunteers learn about Ithaca and its people, buildings and institutions, and about the raw materials of historical inquiry.

Three ways we need your help:


The most ambitious part of HistoryForge is transferring the information on the manuscript enumeration sheets of the census to a searchable database of “people records.” In the process transcribers are able to produce a far more accurate and useful product than the transcription provided on Ancestry and Familysearch.

Census transcription requires patience and a commitment to accuracy. We provide written instructions and training on site. After training it is possible to work at home, although we see the greatest success from teams working in The History Center. Our “transcription parties” encourage sharing tips and checking doubtful readings. We also find that teams of two are most productive: a reader and an entry person, but it is quite possible to work alone.

Building the Building Database

Help enter building information encoded in historic maps into out building database so we can learn more about the places people lived and worked.

Map Repository

Help expand our collection of map layers. We need help georectifying the maps so they can be layered under a google map.

Volunteer as a Citizen Historian