About the National Archives

Remarks for Volunteer Appreciation Day

Remarks for Volunteer Appreciation Day
National Archives at College Park, MD
April 26, 2017


Since April 1, 2016, 200 volunteers at A-I and A-II have contributed 21,725 hours to the National Archives. These volunteers are enthusiastic about NARA’s mission and have provided support to NARA’s Amending America outreach initiative and our agency’s strategic goals to Make Access Happen, Connect with Customers, and Build Our Future Through Our People. The following are a few highlights of volunteer accomplishments.

The huge success of the sleepovers for children and their parents at our Museum can be attributed in part to our dedicated volunteers who work with LE staff in the preparation as well as with the actual sleepover activities.

The expertise that volunteers bring to NARA has enabled a synergy to develop between archival and education projects. Volunteers working on holdings maintenance and finding aid projects, for example, write blog posts about unique records they find or articles for Prologue magazine. Others develop DocsTeach activities based on those records for classroom use. These records are then digitized and described for the online Catalog, and the articles and teaching activities become available on NARA’s website and social media platforms for wider use.

At Archives I, docents lead tours daily for visitors of all ages, introducing them to our nation’s historical records in the Rotunda and our museum spaces. Volunteers assist with noon-time and evening public programs attended by hundreds of visitors. With assistance from volunteers, genealogists conduct research, and families engage in activities at the Boeing Learning Center.  Earlier this month the National History Day-DC competition ran smoothly because volunteers from both facilities served as judges and helped with various tasks over the two days.

At Archives II, docents lead tours for agency records managers, library and archives professionals, researchers and members of the public who are curious about the facility. With volunteer support, we created educational opportunities at A-II for Maryland students, their parents, and educators. NARA shows support for our neighbors as our volunteers serve as judges at the Prince George’s County’s History Day competition. For the seventh year in a row, volunteers have provided research support for the National History Day-Normandy Institute’s student-teacher teams from 15 states.

When volunteers transcribe and tag records on the Citizen Archivist’s Dashboard, they provide greater access to our online records. During the World War I centennial year, volunteers contributed to the robust online collection of digitized textual and special media records. Volunteers collaborated with staff on the digitization of Vietnam era deck logs and continue to digitize and describe other item and series-level records to support our agency’s digitization initiative.

We thank you for all the work you do at our facilities and online with our catalog and especially for being our public face in your communities.