Volunteer Here! Returning to Collections Care
CCAHA's four-part series Volunteer Here! Returning to Collections Care was designed for volunteers that work directly with collections or in collections-focused roles, as well as organizations that run collections-centered volunteer programs. Whether you are a small museum or library/archives looking to relaunch your volunteer program after a COVID-related closure, or a volunteer curious about what to expect upon returning, the sessions will offer tips and resources for working together with collections in a COVID world. These brief modules are also meant to provide a space for collections administrators and volunteers to connect and share advice and experiences of volunteering during COVID. The first half of the series will revisit the basics of working in a collections volunteer program within the backdrop of “the new normal,” while the second half will offer practical training in collections-related topics that organizations can use for training volunteers in collections-related work.
The series included the following sessions:
Welcome Back! Speedy Tips for Collections Staff Working with Volunteers (
This free session will offer planning tips for staff at small museums, libraries/archives, and historic sites who are preparing to welcome back collections volunteers. Session topics will explore ideas and resources in planning, safety, and communication for administrators of collections volunteer programs as we return to working together in collection spaces (and continue to collaborate virtually!).
Welcome Back! Speedy Tips for Volunteers Returning to Collections Work (September 21, 2021)
As a compliment to Session #1, this free session will offer tips and resources for volunteers getting ready to return to collections-based work in small museums, libraries/archives, and historic sites. Session topics will explore ideas and resources in planning, safety, and communication for volunteers as we return to working together in collection spaces (and continue to collaborate virtually!).
I Am Once Again Asking You Not to Touch the Objects (and Here's Why...) (September 28, 2021)
"Why are the lights so dim? Why are there reproductions instead of originals on display?" This free session approaches preservation best practices from the perspective of common questions collections volunteers may field from the public. It will provide tips on introducing basic preservation concepts in an approachable, relatable manner.
And When You CAN Handle the Artifacts... (October 5, 2021)
This free session is an introduction to best practices in handling art, artifacts, and archival material. The volunteer will learn to safely work in collections areas, support and protect artifacts from damage during transport, and recognize when to ask for a helping hand.
This program of the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts was funded with generous grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William Penn Foundation, and Independence Foundation.