Volunteer at the Archives
The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.
Volunteer Mission Statement
As volunteers we take pride in helping to accomplish the State Archives mandate to preserve public records and make them available to the public.
A volunteer coordinator oversees the involvement of volunteers. The coordinator recruits, places, provides support, represents and recognizes volunteers. The program is supported by supervisors in each department who work alongside and direct the volunteers in specific projects and tasks.
Becoming a Volunteer
Those who want to volunteer must be willing to contribute their time and skills and have a desire to support the mission of the Archives. Volunteering provides an opportunity to learn as well as to contribute to a valuable state resource. The Utah Code Annotated 63G-2-101 et seq (GRAMA) provides legal guidelines for the use of personally identifiable information contained within public records. A free society demands a right of access to public records to assure accountability of public officials and government. Legitimate uses--journalistic, historical and educational--of public records must still protect individual privacy.
To become a volunteer you must…
- Be able to commit to at least 20 hours of volunteer service.
- Complete and submit a volunteer application.
- Complete a brief in-person or telephone interview with the volunteer coordinator which could include checking references.
- Attend any trainings or orientations relative to your specific volunteer assignments.
- Keep track of volunteer hours on the volunteer time log, and coordinate with team leaders to arrange the days and times you plan to be available to work on specific projects.
Planned projects at the Archives are awaiting the time and attention of volunteers to flatten old documents, take out metal clips and staples, and prepare historic records for scanning, microfilming, and archival storage.
Information from old ledgers, records, microfiche, and hand-written registers is organized and converted to more accessible formats. Indexes and finding aids need to be made so that the information is accessible.
Helping patrons with research issues takes knowledge of the collection, patience, curiosity, and willingness to learn. Volunteers who have worked 20 hours in document preparation or processing can sign up for a day of instruction with Alan Barnett to learn how to assist in the Research Room.
The Archives hosts special events such as Archives Month each October and Records Management Month in April. Volunteers are asked to help as greeters or to attend events for their own instruction. Staff meetings and State Records Committee meetings are also open to volunteers. We encourage you to be well-informed and to count any event you attend along with your other volunteer hours.
Volunteers contribute to the meaningful work of preserving Utah’s heritage and history. As a volunteer you gain valuable research skills, learn important facts about Utah’s people and history, gain experience for your resume, put your people skills to work, enhance your self-esteem, and improve the world a bit. Volunteer time logs must be turned in to the volunteer coordinator’s Office (on the 2nd floor of the Archives building, East side) in order to receive benefits listed below.
20 hours ~ Volunteer newsletter and welcome to all events, classes, and trainings.
40 Hours ~ Official Archives name tag and entry pass to the secure Archives Building.
90 Hours + ~ Gift Cards
All benefits are awarded at the end of the year (December) at the recognition dinner.
Volunteers who are at least 55 years old may apply for placement at the Archives through the RSVP program, a division of Salt Lake County aging services. If you would like additional information about RSVP or to enroll, call (801) 468-2490.
Parking & travel
Free parking is available on the street in front and in back of the building, and in the parking lot to the north of the Rio Grande Café. The intermodal hub for TRAX and UTA are within a block of the Archives.
The safety of our volunteers is of primary importance. Volunteers must report any on-site accidents immediately to supervisors or to the volunteer coordinator. Active volunteers and employees are covered by workers’ compensation laws.
Volunteers are encouraged to work a full four-hour shift, and to let their team leader know when they plan to be available, and if they need to make any change in their schedules. A calendar on the upstairs conference room bulletin board is available to sign for the days you plan to volunteer. Please keep it up to date by writing your initials on the selected days and shifts. Sign on the calendar for the work assignment you have been assigned or request another assignment from the coordinator.
Volunteers are representatives of the Archives and are expected to be courteous to the public, to refrain from the use of non-prescription drugs or alcohol while volunteering, and to refer any problems or questions to staff members. Volunteers use the lunch room facilities and are encouraged to keep food and drink there and not at work stations.
The Archives is not responsible for personal belongings. You may want to keep items locked in your car or ask the coordinator where to leave purses and coats while you are here.
All records at the Utah State Archives are the property of the state and must not be appropriated or copied for personal use without authorization. Searching and handling records at the Archives leaves one with a new appreciation of the history keepers of the state. We hope your time here is filled with interesting discoveries and a sense of the value of your contribution to the Archives and its mission.
I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.