The History Museum will RE-OPEN on SEPTEMBER 29, 2020. The Research Center remains temporarily closed. Close

Teens around a table

Read below for answers to our most commonly asked volunteering questions.

To learn more or join the WSHS volunteer team, please attend a volunteer orientation session. You can sign up for that here.

Contact Susan Hesselgrave, Volunteer Coordinator, at to let us know if links are not working or if you have additional questions not listed here.

Volunteer FAQs

What do WSHS volunteers do?

Lots of things! You can find our current volunteer opportunities here: Washington State Historical Society. We post different volunteer roles throughout the year as our programs and exhibits change.

Volunteers can work at special events, or take on a short term or long term assignment. Some volunteers work in the galleries of the History Museum, supporting visitors in enjoying the museum and understanding the exhibitions. Others work at the WSHS Research Center.

A few examples of volunteer roles:

  • Taking photographs of artifacts
  • Distributing marketing collateral
  • Uploading events to online calendars to help get the word out
  • Proofreading our quarterly history magazine, COLUMBIA
  • Helping guests make crafts at History After Hours
  • Answering questions in the museum galleries
  • Supporting the Collections team

There are many varied roles! Your questions can be answered at a volunteer orientation session.

Who can volunteer?

WSHS welcomes volunteers from teens on up! Currently our volunteers range from age 13 through their 80s.

Families can volunteer too. Kids ages 8-12 can become Junior Historians, volunteering alongside adult family member volunteers.

If you can donate a minimum of  20 volunteer hours during a year, then special event, short term, and longer term volunteer opportunities are available!

How do I become a WSHS volunteer?

  • Attend a volunteer orientation session to find out if we’re the right place for you! Click here to sign up.
  • Agree to, and pass, a criminal background check
  • Complete the required training
  • Follow WSHS policies and procedures
  • Commit to volunteer at least 20 hours of volunteer service (annual).

Are there any perks or benefits to volunteering?

  • Free admission to the Washington State History Museum
  • Opportunity to attend museum special events and celebrations
  • Complimentary parking while volunteering
  • Gain work experience and skills
  • Employment and education references provided to present and past volunteers
  • Learn about our state’s history
  • Work with others who share your interest in history
  • Meet visitors from around the world
  • Make friends
  • Continuing education events
  • Annual Volunteer Appreciation Potluck
  • National Volunteer Appreciation Week with reciprocal free admission to other Puget Sound area museums
  • Last but by no means least, our undying gratitude!