Volunteer and Internship Opportunities at the National Archives at Boston
The National Archives at Boston depends on its volunteers, who commit their own time in service to the agency and the American people. All volunteers complete a Volunteer Application Form and when accepted, undergo a thorough background check. All volunteers must be American citizens.
Volunteer opportunities exist in the following areas:
Assist visitors with research in our public reference room, most of which is genealogical. This may include conducting research on Ancestry, FamilySearch, or the NARA catalog. Requires attention to detail, knowledge of genealogy and historical research, specifically with online genealogy research programs, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, especially patience and understanding when working with the public and novice researchers.
Assists staff in the preservation and description of historical 19th and 20th-century federal records. Suitable only for those with capabilities for hands-on work with historic records. Training in preservation and archival practices is provided. Requires strict attention to detail, ability to handle delicate records, an interest in American history. May require work with electronic databases.
How to Apply
For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator:
National Archives at Boston
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, Massachusetts 02452
Fill out and mail in the Volunteer Application Form
About the National Archives
The National Archives administers a nationwide network of facilities, serving both the public and federal agencies. The National Archives at Boston is:
- Part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the federal agency that, by law, preserves and provides access to permanently valuable, non-current federal records with historical, legal, or fiscal value.
- One of 14 NARA facilities where the public has access to federal archival records.
- A depository and center for research in historical records from federal agencies and courts in the New England states.
- A sponsor of programs that educate the public about archives, scholarship, history, and related subjects.
- A partner with colleges and universities, historical societies, museums, genealogy groups, and leading cultural and social institutions.
- A national resource in a local setting.
About our Internships
The National Archives at Boston extends its reach to students pursuing professional and academic training in archival studies and practice. Our goal is to provide students with a meaningful and realistic, hands-on work experience that will be beneficial to both the student and our agency.
Responsibilities include verifying contents of collections, making necessary changes to descriptive materials, creating finding aids, digitizing records, and creating databases.
Interns may also participate in everyday archival duties such as reference and assisting with the public. Other common duties may be assigned as needed.
Our internship positions are unpaid. Preference is given to graduate students in archives programs, graduate students in history or other related fields, and then undergraduate students. We will work with students on requirements and expectations of for-credit internships.
Applicants must have a minimum of 60 college credit hours to be considered for a position. All potential interns submit a resume and visit the facility for interviews, and when accepted, undergo a thorough background check.
Qualifications for interns include:
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Current enrollment in a 2-year, 4-year, or graduate degree program
- Good organizational skills
- Detail oriented
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Ability to work independently and effectively given a limited time frame
- Ability to balance multiple tasks
- Dependable and punctual
- Basic computer skills
- Archival experience or education is a plus
How to Apply
Students interested in participating in the National Archives at Boston's unpaid internship program should submit the following items:
- CV or resume
- A cover letter identifying your interest in archival work and this internship
- Unofficial transcripts
- Dates or semester available
Email to: Alfie.Paul@nara.gov
Or mail to:
National Archives at Boston
Attn: Alfie Paul
380 Trapelo Rd
Waltham, MA 02452
For More Information
For general questions about the intern program contact:
Director of Archival Operations, Alfie Paul at Alfie.Paul@nara.gov
If your application is selected for an interview, you will be notified approximately two weeks from the date we received your application.