One of the great contributions you can make as a volunteer is helping individuals and organizations create an accurate record of history for generations to come. Here are a few ways you can help others leave a permanent, accurate mark.
Add Another Chapter of American History.
The Journal of American History archives stories and essays of historical relevance. If you know an individual with an interesting story, you can volunteer to help him or her record it and submit it for review. The National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian institution, has multiple volunteer opportunities available. In addition to their call for docents and museum ambassadors, their Spark!lab program details multiple science activities you can do with children in your own town, including their annual Invent It Challenge, which launches in January every year.
Lend your voice to the cause.
There are thousands of free books available in the public domain, and one organization is dedicated to making them all available in audio format. You can help as a volunteer. It doesn’t require any experience with recording, audio engineering, acting or public speaking. All you need is a computer, a microphone, their free recording software, and your voice. A similar endeavor empowered entirely by volunteers is Project Gutenberg. You can help by producing and/or proofreading eBooks, which are then released for free into the public domain.
Become an Archivist for We, the People.
The National Archives has volunteer opportunities both inside, and outside of Washington, as part of their Citizen Archivist initiative. As a Presidential Libraries Volunteer you can work as a museum docent, assist with archival and curatorial projects, handle general administrative duties or contribute to educational outreach. There are more than a dozen libraries around the country at which to volunteer. Work from anywhere as an online archivist by tagging images, uploading and sharing photos or transcribing documents. Or assist National Archives staff and researchers at satellite facilities located nationwide.
Discover more opportunities in your community with this simple volunteer search. Just enter keyword “historian.”