Volunteer at Dorset History Centre
Volunteers help us to raise awareness of our work and improve access to our collections. We offer a range of roles across the Centre that need different levels of skills and experience.
Volunteering at Dorset History Centre might be for you if you have a passion for history; want to improve your knowledge and skills; or want to get involved in something worthwhile.
How do I volunteer?
Volunteers are recruited to specific projects. Volunteer positions will be advertised below as they become available. We do not accept speculative applications.
If you would like to get involved with any of these roles please complete our volunteer application, specifying which role you are interested in, and return it to us.
Volunteer opportunities are also advertised in our newsletter and via the Volunteer Centre Dorset
Typical volunteering opportunities include:
- packaging documents for storage
- indexing and transcribing records
- collecting oral histories
- supporting people with additional needs to access our volunteering opportunities
- promoting our services and events
We are committed to treating all volunteers and volunteer applicants equally and fairly. We accept volunteers based on their suitability for the role. For more information please see our Volunteer Policy.
Current volunteer opportunities
We are currently seeking a volunteer to support visitors and researchers who have additional needs on an 'as needed' basis. If you have good communication and basic research skills, and time to give we would like to hear from you.
View the support volunteer full role description for further details.
Indexing and re-packing for the Herrison Hospital project
This Wellcome funded project requires people to volunteer with us on Mondays, helping to index and re-package items from the hospital’s records. Volunteers will work closely with the project archivist.
View the Herrison indexing volunteer full role description for further details.
Oral history volunteer
We are seeking people who would like to train to collect recordings from people associated with Herrison Hospital.
View the oral history volunteer full role description for further details.
Dorset Archives Trust
Dorset Archives Trust is an independent charitable body who support the work of Dorset History Centre. Dorset Archives Trust welcomes new volunteers to help organise events, distribute information and raise awareness of the work of the Trust. For more information contact the Trustees at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young learners and work experience
We enjoy introducing young people to the work of the archive and we benefit from having tasks undertaken by short-term placements. We will introduce you to all aspects of our service and provide a varied experience. We hope that after spending time with us you will act as an informed advocate for archives.
- suitable for undergraduate level or above
- up to three placements for up to four weeks each summer.
- this opportunity is popular, to apply please contact our Community Engagement Officer
- suitable for young people referred by partner agencies who need extra support to access volunteering opportunities
- up to three placements per year
- we will work with each person individually to tailor a short project suited to their abilities and interests
- for more information or to make a referral contact our Community Engagement Officer
Please note we cannot currently offer work experience opportunities to sixth form students.
Volunteers have interviewed a wide range of people with connection to the Bankes estates and I transcribe them to make it easier for researchers to find information. The interviews offer a wonderful insight into social history during the last century. I do this role at home.
I love opening an old document and realising the last person to have read it might have lived hundreds of years ago. I also love the challenge of deciphering handwriting of many years ago and imagining the lives of the people who wrote these documents. You get a real flavour of the times in which they lived.
I volunteer out of an interest in history, I really enjoy opening a new box of unsorted documents, with no idea what may be contained in it!