Washington, DC Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers play essential roles in sharing the holdings, exhibits, research, and educational programming of the National Archives with the public. We are always on the lookout for dynamic, curious individuals who want to be a part of the National Archives volunteer team.
These activities include:
Lead document-based research and analysis simulations, helping to connect students with history and primary source documents found in the holdings of the National Archives in hopes of inspiring students to continue to learn and discover and become stewards of our nation’s history. Learning lab audiences consist primarily of students, teachers and chaperones with occasional adult learners or families. Requires flexibility to ever-changing situations and comfort speaking in public and working with diverse groups of people. Volunteers are required to assist with two labs a month. Labs are run Tuesday through Thursday.
Facilitate meaningful visitor experiences by helping a diverse group of visitors engaging in inquiry-based discovery using games, facsimiles of records, other hands-on activities designed to encourage interest in the primary sources, research, and investigation. Assist with daily facility operations by getting the ReSource Room space and hands-on activities ready for visitor use and help with some routine maintenance. Requires flexibility to ever-changing situations and comfort speaking in public and working with diverse groups of people. Volunteers are required to sign up for one shift per week, weekend shifts available.
Leads hands-on activities during special themed days in the Boeing Learning introducing the great variety of records in the National Archives in new ways to the public. Volunteer assist with Family Days, the Archives Sleepover, the 4th of July and much more. Requires strong interpersonal skills while working with diverse audiences, age groups, and learning styles. Volunteers must be able to handle frequent walking and standing. Volunteers are required to sign up for three events per year.
Special Event and Public Programs
Check, usher and help guests find their way at lectures and seminars, film screenings, exhibit openings, and a variety of other special events. Provide information about the National Archives and future events. Requires an outgoing personality, an interest in the National Archives programs, and a flexible schedule. Volunteers must sign up for five events per year.
Introduce the general public to the priceless holdings of the National Archives by giving highlights tours, assisting visitors in the exhibits, and facilitating hands-on activities. Requires an interested in American history and government and strong interpersonal skills while working with diverse audiences, age groups, and learning styles. Volunteers must be able to handle frequent walking and standing. Volunteers are expected to give 100 hours per year either leading tours or working in the exhibits.
Education and Public Programs Office Assistant
Help with various office tasks such as filing, organizing records, data entry, and research. Work behind the scenes with the education team helping to coordinate logistics for programs and on-going educational initiatives. Requires an attention to detail, knowledge of Microsoft Office and Google apps. Requires 20 hours per year.
Help the public get the most out of their visits by welcoming groups and providing an introduction to the National Archives Museum, circulating throughout the Museum’s public zones to answer questions and facilitating meaningful visitor experiences, and directing visitors to programs and exhibitions of interest. Requires interacting with diverse audiences, age groups and learning styles and the ability to handle frequent walking, standing, and talking. Volunteers are required to sign up for one shift per week, weekend shifts available.
Work behind the scenes assisting archival staff on special projects and reference services for which there is no funding or professional staff available. Under the supervision of an archivist, they may work with records, perform indexing duties, make descriptive lists, perform holdings maintenance and data entry, or may provide administrative services.
Assist visitors with research in our public reference room, most of which is genealogical. This may include conducting research on Ancestry, Fold3, 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.
Youth Volunteers (16-18 years old)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a museum? Are you interested in learning valuable interpersonal and customer service skills, all while having fun with your friends? If so, consider becoming a teen volunteer at the National Archives Museum. Teen volunteers can be found assisting visitors through the facility, working alongside the education department during events, helping children with hands-on activities during Family Days, and much more.
In addition to fulfilling school service hours and looking great on college applications, volunteering at the National Archives is a great way for teens 16 years or older to gain insight into potential careers and interests. Opportunities are available after school, weekends, during school breaks, and all summer long.
Fill out the Washington, DC Volunteer Application and e-mail, fax, or mail it to the Volunteer Program staff (email preferred). To complete the application, you will need to download the free Adobe Reader.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
The National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, DC 20408
Phone: (202) 357-5272
Fax: (202) 357-5925