I started volunteering at the National Archives in Seattle in 2001. Loretta Chin, another volunteer, had been indexing the Chinese Exclusion Act case files for many years by the time a got there. Loretta became my mentor and friend. She took me under her wing and was always ready to answer my questions about Chinese culture and history. We both got excited about the unique documents we occasionally found in the files. And we loved the photos in files, especially the ones of the babies and children. Loretta is retired now. She is in her 80s and took two buses to get to the Archives every week. What a dedicated volunteer!
Over the years, many volunteers have worked on indexing the case files. We now have a team of five volunteers: me, Rhonda, Lily, Hao-Jan and Tamia. Our goal is to get all the names and case numbers of the files into the database as quickly as possible. When we reach that goal we will go back and add more detail for each file.
The blog will contain examples of a combination of typical or unusual documents we find in the files.
Trish Hackett Nicola
Blog Editor and National Archives volunteer