Volunteers are essential at the Rhode Island Historical Society and help provide historical content and context for visitors, classrooms, walking tours, and more. Would you like to learn more about the history of Rhode Island and help us to share those stories?

Click here for the John Brown House Museum Volunteer Form.
Click here for the Museum of Work & Culture Volunteer Form.

Volunteering at RIHS

RIHS volunteers fill a variety of roles and functions that are essential to the daily operations of the museums. They serve as docents, gallery attendants, and event volunteers. Volunteers give tours to school groups, guide visitors through the museums, and assist with the planning and production of various events and programs. Depending on the desired role, volunteers receive training and serve as ambassadors of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Opportunities to volunteer exist at all of our sites. These include: The John Brown House Museum and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center in Providence, and the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket. Additional opportunities are available on various committees, including Advancement, Spring Forward Gala, Collections, and Publications. All potential volunteers must fill out an application that lists their interests, relevant experiences, and available time. Readings, training, and other requirements may be applicable.

All volunteers are expected to follow all of the Rhode Island Historical Society’s policies and adhere to our overall mission statement:

“As an important cultural institution in Rhode Island, we use materials and knowledge of the past to explore topics of timeless relevance and current public interest and benefit. Inside and outside of the walls of our buildings, the RIHS encourages broad engagement in the diversity of experiences we offer. We develop and deploy our collections, knowledge, connections, and expertise to build relationships between individuals, organizations, and communities to enhance understanding and empathy, and to engender pride of place.”

To be and remain an Active Volunteer at the museum, which includes access to special outings and other benefits, you must volunteer at least 15 hours a year inside the museum. Volunteers who provide more than 25 hours a year receive free membership to RIHS. All volunteers are expected to represent both the museum and the RIHS in a positive light and be helpful to all visitors.