The Museum, Library and Archive welcome volunteers who wish to help with our many activities both in front of and behind the scenes. There are a variety of jobs and tasks that need to be carried out and we do not necessarily expect people to have prior experience or knowledge of particular areas. Support and training can be given and people are encouraged to try something new.
Curators of the different collections need assistance from time to time with cleaning objects or cases, cataloguing and labelling and changing the displays. The Library and Archive has many different tasks that need to be carried out such as cataloguing, assisting in archiving of materials and assisting members of the public and academics with research, particularly of family and social history of the area. Another key role is to assist the Museum Assistants on the Reception Desk to make sure all our visitors, of all ages, have a great experience. There are also opportunities for those with specific skills such as joinery, artistic design and setting up exhibitions as well as posts relating to the running of the organisation – finance, marketing, administration and applying for grants etc.
The main attribute we look for in our volunteers is enthusiasm and a willingness to help out. You can spend as much or as little time as you like. Some people like to come in for a set time on a set day, others operate more flexibly, it depends on the role. You can experience different areas of the Museum; you are not confined to sticking to one area if you fancy a change.
We are a friendly team and are all volunteers with the exception of our Registrar, Operations Manager and two Museum Assistants who all work part-time.
We ask volunteers to join our parent organisation, the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society. It is a rather erudite sounding name – but it was established in 1823 when “philosophical” meant natural philosophy – that is science. The Society has approximately 700 members from a very wide variety of backgrounds and few of whom would claim to be either literary or philosophical! Membership also means that you have access to most areas of the Museum and are able to attend the regular talks and borrow books from the Library. See the “About Us” on the top menu for further details of the Society.
What are the advantages of volunteering?
- Opportunity to meet and socialise with people with similar interests
- Opportunity to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge
- The satisfaction of helping to preserve and develop an outstanding and unique museum.
- Good addition to your CV if you are a student or temporarily out of work
- A change of scene and good fun!
Whatever your background or interests we would love to hear from you. Do contact us for an informal chat and see if you would like to get involved. In the first instance, please email or ring the Operations Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will arrange a visit and the opportunity for you to chat to other volunteers to find out all about us without any obligation.