Become a Volunteer!

Help bring history to life! Are you looking for a unique way to contribute to your community and connect people to its remarkable history? The John Brown House Museum needs volunteers!

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The John Brown House Museum is looking for volunteer docents to lead museum tours and assist with special events. Volunteers are not required to have a background in history or experience leading tours, but they are required to be flexible, enthusiastic, and willing to learn!

We simply could not offer the programs, special events, and tours that make the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) such a valuable resource without our diverse and wonderfully dedicated corps of volunteers.  Donating your time, interest, and energy helps RIHS preserve and share the unique histories of Rhode Island, Providence, and the Brown family.

As a volunteer we ask you to:

  • Participate in a prescribed training program
  • Establish a regular schedule for participating as a docent, and/or special event volunteer. A minimum commitment of 6 hours each month is required.
  • Have a valid email address
  • Serve as a “goodwill ambassador” for the RIHS
  • Enjoy yourself!

The Museum will provide:

  • An opportunity for public service
  • A professional orientation and training program
  • An opportunity to meet new and interesting people
  • A chance to promote the history of Rhode Island and Providence
  • An opportunity to tell the story of John Brown, his home, and his family
  • Free admission to John Brown House Museum and most walking
  • Free admission to special events and educational lectures
  • Receive a 20% discount at the JBH Museum Book Shop
  • Free RIHS membership with 40 or more hours completed within one year of service

From April to November the John Brown House Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. Docents are needed for two guided tours each day the Museum is open. From December to March the Museum is open on Saturdays only.

Tours for school groups, private groups, and other special programs take place March through November.

If you are interested in volunteering, or you would like more information, please email

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Rhode Island Historical Society!