Digitization – Intern – Madison County

Location:  Madison County Clerk’s Office in Madison, VA

Supervisor: Historic Preservation Coordinator

Job Classification: Part time, non-exempt – (hourly)


Introduction

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that has proudly promoted and protected the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont since 1972. PEC empowers residents to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place, and works with citizens to conserve land, protect air and water quality, celebrate historic resources, build smart transportation networks, promote sustainable energy choices, restore wildlife habitat and improve people’s access to nature.

Background

The Piedmont Environmental Council, in partnership with the Madison County Historical Society, Madison County Clerk’s Office and James Madison University, is planning to digitize thousands of legal documents pertaining to the State of Virginia’s condemnation of private land within an eight county area of Virginia for the creation of the Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s. This past year, PEC partnered with James Madison University and the Rappahannock County Clerk’s Office to digitize over 6,000 documents relating to the condemnation of lands in Rappahannock County.

PEC hopes to continue this project by completing the digitization of records in Madison County. Currently, access to records relating to the Shenandoah National Park condemnations in Madison is somewhat limited. Deed books, which contain the muniments of title for the condemned properties, surveyor descriptions of each tract of land being condemned and lists of ownership and surveyors are the only documents readily available to the public in the clerk’s office. The condemnation cases, appraisals, surveys and other information pertaining to individual properties acquired for (or assessed for inclusion in) Shenandoah National Park are in boxes in the storage room of the clerk’s office. Most of the public does not know they exist and their fragile condition makes them vulnerable to breaking down when they are used. This digitization project will make all of the deed book records, court proceedings and individual condemnation case files publicly accessible and searchable via an online database, where individuals can look up information about specific properties within Shenandoah National Park. The database will be hosted by James Madison University in a format similar to that of “Exploring Rockingham’s Past,” which can be viewed here: https://omeka.lib.jmu.edu/erp/.

Description of Position

There is one position available as a limited time internship. The intern will be scanning and processing thousands of documents in the Madison County Clerk’s Office in Madison, Virginia, which pertain to the condemnation cases for parcels acquired for the creation of Shenandoah National Park. Scanning is required to be done at the Madison County Clerk’s Office, however, processing of the files can be done from home or PEC’s office in Warrenton, Virginia and possibly our office in Orange, Virginia.

Areas of Responsibility

The interns will report to the Historic Preservation Coordinator and be responsible for the duties outlined below:

  • Organizing and scanning selected documents in the Madison County Clerk’s Office
  • Processing and combining individual TIFF scans into multi-page PDF documents, including OCR text recognition
  • Providing metadata for each PDF document
  • Making one day trip to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia (contingent on COVID precautions)
  • Assisting with public unveiling event at the culmination of the project (date to be determined)

Qualifications

  • Some familiarity with the history of the creation of Shenandoah National Park
  • Madison County resident or live in close proximity
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation required.
  • Ability to lift up to 40 pounds.
  • Previous experience using Microsoft Office software and Adobe Acrobat (or other OCR text recognition software)

Compensation

$20 per hour with an estimated 320 hours of work.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to apply@pecva.org.

The Piedmont Environmental Council is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women and persons of color are encouraged. Resume reviews begin immediately.