In 2023, the City of Dover will be 400 years old! In anticipation of this celebration six years hence, the City is seeking to assemble a crew of detailed-oriented, historically-minded volunteers for a 5-year task!
The City possesses Dover record books spanning the years 1657 to 1807. These have been digitized and preserved thanks to a Moose Plate Grant from the State of New Hampshire, but the records are in their original, handwritten state and are quite difficult to read. Here's an example:
You can look at more of them here: http://www.dover.nh.gov/government/city-operations/finance/city-clerk-tax-collection/historic-dover-records/index.html.
We know these record books contain a lot of early Dover history and we can’t wait for their secrets to be revealed! We are looking for volunteers who would enjoy transcribing these records, word-for-word and precisely, so that they may be more clearly read, indexed, and made searchable for historians, genealogists, and other researchers.
If you are interested in discovering and recording early Dover history, please pick up a special application for a “Transcription Volunteer” at the Dover Public Library or download one at: http://www.dover.nh.gov/Assets/government/city-operations/1form/library/Volunteer%20Application_Transcriber.pdf
Volunteers will be able to work from home, either via a web connection to the digitized images, or from a disk. There are no minimum or maximum hours required. This is not a 5-year commitment, unless you want it to be!
The original paper records will not be handled unless a “legibility consult”, requiring inspection of an original page, is necessary. In that case, the City Clerk will oversee the consult. Volunteers will be taught how to properly transcribe historic records according to Bureau of Certified Genealogists standards.
For more information, contact City Clerk Karen Lavertu at 516-6020 or Cathy Beaudoin, Library Director, at 516-6050.