medal cast for Cecil Calvert, 1632 Maryland State Archives 350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401
MD toll free (800) 235-4045
or (410) 260-6400
fax: (410) 974-2525
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Volunteer Programs

Reference Services Volunteers
    The Maryland State Archives offers a program for volunteers to assist the Archives' staff in providing reference services in the search room. The Archives has been the beneficiary of a great deal of support from its patrons in the past. Formalizing such efforts has proven advantageous for both the Archives and its volunteers. Those who come to the Archives for research know first hand the increasing demands placed upon the facilities and staff. The Archives enhances reference services through its use of these capable individuals who work closely with the archivists and archival assistants.

    Volunteers perform the following duties:

    • answer reference questions;
    • provide orientation for new researchers;
    • show patrons how to use online guides and indexes;
    • demonstrate the use of computers, microfilm readers and reader printers;
    • show patrons how to fill out request slips

    Before assignment to reference duty, volunteers undergo an individualized one-on-one training period. Then they receive on-the-job training by working in the search room with the reference staff. Reference work itself becomes an educational process as archivists, archival assistants, volunteers, and researchers learn from each other.

    We ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of a half day every two weeks or an equivalent of one full day every four weeks. The Archives tries to keep the schedule flexible enough to accommodate individual needs. While helping the Archives provide reference services, volunteers will learn more about records, research strategies, and archival operations.

    Each volunteer is asked to fill out an application to inform the Archives about individual talents and specializations. The Archives staff and the volunteer confer first before mutually agreeing that he, or she, is ready to commence regularly scheduled search room duty.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

The Maryland State Archives offers other opportunities for volunteer involvement. These include processing records, keyboarding data, and conducting group tours. Processing involves the arrangement and description of original records, records on film, or printed materials. Some keyboarding activities form an integral part of processing records. Other keyboarding projects involve inventories and indexes of records. Most of the group tours consist of school children studying Maryland history. The staff responsible for managing processing, data operations, and outreach provide the training necessary for the individual projects.

Benefits for Volunteers

Benefits for volunteers include purchasing publications and merchandise at staff discounts, receiving the staff newsletter by mail or email, and using the search room on Mondays and Tuesdays when it is closed to the public. Please note, however, that original records are not available on Monday or Tuesday.

How to Become an Archives Volunteer

To volunteer at the Archives or obtain more information about the program, contact us at or phone: MD toll free (800) 235-4045 or (410) 260-6400. You may also download the volunteer application and return it to the Archives in person or via US Mail. You will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Download Volunteer Application   (PDF Format)    Word Format)

This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.

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