Volunteering at the National Archives at Riverside
Volunteers provide valuable assistance to our staff through a variety of activities, including preserving historic records, preparing them for access and assisting public patrons with research. Their work makes a difference!
Volunteers should have an interest in American history, genealogy or archival management, and should be able to spend at least six hours a week on assigned tasks. Interns should expect to commit to 120-140 hours over the course of an academic quarter or semester.
- All volunteer positions assist only during our normal open hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday and the first Saturday of each month, excluding Federal holidays.
- Some staff aides work in groups, while others work on individual projects.
- Volunteers generally work seated at tables or computer stations.
Current volunteer projects/positions:
|Genealogy Staff Aides||Provide reference assistance to patrons researching their family history. Assist us with providing access to records by creating indexes to genealogical records.|
|Archival Staff Aides||Assist us in preserving and making available the records of the United States District Courts in our area. Join us in preserving, indexing and describing civil case files. These cases document claims authorized by Federal statutes, such as violations of civil rights; claims made by or against the Federal government or its agents; or claims made by citizens living in different states.|
|Student Interns||We are not currently accepting applications for Interns.|
There are two types of volunteer positions available at the National Archives at Riverside:
Genealogy Staff Aides
Each month the National Archives at Riverside welcomes visitors to our Reference Rooms and receives hundreds of requests for genealogical information by mail, e-mail, and telephone. Genealogy Staff Aides work under the supervision of our Reference Specialist to assist researchers with general reference questions, use of finding aids, online materials and microfilm viewers; assist with the preparation and review of reference guides and work to make records of genealogical value available. Genealogy Staff Aides should have a good knowledge of genealogical research and sources and be enthusiastic about working with the public.
Archival Staff Aides
Each year the National Archives at Riverside acquires several hundreds to thousands of boxes of new records from Federal agencies. Archival Staff Aides work under the supervision of Archives staff to assist with the preservation, arrangement and description of records of permanent and historical value. Their work ensures that we can provide better access to the records of the United States government from southern California, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. Projects may include work on paper records and visual materials, such as photographs, negatives, or slides. Volunteers may unfold materials; remove foreign objects (staples, papers clips, etc.); replace damaging housing; label folders; create lists of folders or indexes to records; and other specialized tasks. No experience in archives is required for this position, just a passion for working with historic materials.
All of the internships available at the National Archives at Riverside are unpaid. The National Archives accepts for-credit internships for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in the social sciences, library science and archives, and associated fields. Please check with your academic institution to determine their internship requirements.
Internships may be available in the following program areas. For more information on unpaid internships, contact Gwen Granados at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Archival Arrangement, Preservation, and Description: Introductory level archival processing and preservation work on the historical records of Federal agencies conducting the business of the government in southern California, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada.
- Reference: Assists reference staff in responding to public inquiries, including conducting research and composing replies; preparing box lists for collections; and assisting with special projects.
- Digital Projects: Supports digitization initiatives to increase access to collections via the web and new media. Possible assignments include scanning and preparing descriptive, technical and other metadata; assisting with design and user experience research, web development; and new media special projects such as a collaborating with Wikipedia and supporting the National Archives social media initiatives.