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Meetingplace - F A Q

Frequently Asked Questions


Where is West Jersey?

To some extent, West Jersey may be considered to be the old name for South Jersey. New Jersey was originally two colonies. A diagonal line of division divided the current state. To the north and East was East Jersey. To the south and west was West Jersey. The following bounties were part of West Jersey;

Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, Salem, Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and parts of Mercer, Hunterdon and Warren


What is the West Jersey History Project?

The West Jersey History Project is, for lack of a better term, a virtual historical society. Our mission is to help people doing research on West Jersey by publishing West Jersey history related material to the World Wide Web and by working to build a community interested persons. We hope to serve as a venue for the on-line publication of new works on West Jersey history. In addition, once we get up and running, we hope the organization can be an advocate for historic preservation and other history related issues.


How do I join the Project?

The good news is that there are currently no dues involved in joining the West Jersey History Project. However, in order to become a member you need to volunteer time, materials or expertise and help make things happen. Just click the "Contact Us" link on the Meetingplace page here at the web site and drop us an e-mail. We’ll get in touch with you real soon.


Besides having to work or help with finding new documents, what do I get for being a member?

Good question. Right now all we can offer is your very own e-mail address at westjerseyhistory.org and the promise that you will be given credit for our work on the web site.. As things progress we hope to figure out some other rewards for members.


Who are you anyway?

We are a group of people who share a common interest in the history of the region and in making material relevant to that history available on the web. Some are working on projects for publication. The project was started by Peter Hamilton and Paul Schopp. The project has its roots in the West Jersey History Roundtable, a group of local/regional history folks that has been around for years in one form or another.


Aren’t you competing with or taking away from local historical Societies?

No. No matter how much stuff we put out on the web, it is unlikely that we’ll even come close to the great collections of the county historical societies and even if we get to a point that we have real meetings every so often, we still won’t have the local focus of a town historical society. Besides, one of our goals is to promote the local and county historical societies and perhaps to serve as a medium of communication between them.


So what are you doing?

Our principle interest is to get things like county records such as road returns, court records and the like along with all the surviving early town minute books for the region placed out on the web. We are working with other material as well and, being shamelessly opportunistic, we publish any relevant material we encounter or are supplied with. Our current projects include:

OCRing the Colonial Conveyances and then moving the ocr material into excel

OCRing the various other transcribed/print documents/publications

Scanning in and publishing to the web all of Thomas Sharps survey book

Continuing to take, scan otherwise acquire pictures of Friend’s Meetings for a part of the site that documents the West Jersey Meetings

Continuing to scan in or otherwise acquire postcards and other images from around the region

Transcribing the Newton and Chester Township Minute Books for publication on the web

Scanning, OCRing or retyping various other documents and articles about the region

Publishing William Farrs book on Haddonfield area placenames to the web

OCRing the book Salem Quarter and publishing it to the web

Finally, we are trying to incorporate as a nonprofit

Did I mention that we were looking for help?


Will you publish new papers or articles about topics related to the history of West Jersey?

Yes. One of our goals is to serve as a venue for online publication of new historical works. Of course, anything published will have to get by the editors.


When are you going to put more stuff out?

Preparing material for the web is a non-trivial activity. Images and maps need to be scanned in such a way that they are worth looking at yet do not consume too much bandwidth. Retyping and OCRing out of print or typed but never printed material is time consuming as well. Finally, transcribing early documents takes time, skill and considerable care. So, we’ll publish more material as soon as we are able. Of course, if you'd like to speed the process up by lending a hand, just drop us a line and let us know what your interests and capabilities are.



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