An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.


Be a Volunteer at the Idaho State Historical Society

Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) volunteers are an active and essential part of the mission of ISHS, providing invaluable resources through educational programs, assisting with daily operations and long-term goals.  Volunteering at ISHS provides the opportunity for social and networking through daily interaction and continuing educational benefits through presentations, lectures and demonstrations.

Volunteers are called on to assist patrons with transactions, interpret educational materials to the public, assist museum staff behind-the-scenes with exhibits, cataloguing, and research as well as help with special events and provide administrative support. 

How Do I Become a Volunteer?

Complete a volunteer applicaton
An ISHS staff member will contact you to arrange an interview to learn more about your skills, abilities, and interests.

Have questions about specific opportunities? Contact the Administration Office at(208) 334-2682

Please note: The Idaho State Archives is currently recruiting for volunteer page positions and digital collections assistance. The Idaho State Historical Museum is not accepting volunteer applications at this time.

Hands-on Education Programs

ISHS hands-on education program volunteers work directly with children, teachers and chaperones to give them a positive field trip experience. Volunteers will work with 3rd and 4th grade students on short, hands-on activities relating to Idaho history. One morning a week during fall and spring months is generally requested of volunteers.

Historical Interpreter

Provide guided tours and in-depth programs to scheduled visitors on a pre-selected topics. Programs and tours are provided for all ages.  Days and times vary as do size and age level of groups. Interpreters should be able to physically navigate through the site, interact with a variety of patrons and maintain a warm and friendly attitude at all times. 

Site Host

Site Hosts at the Old Penitentiary greet visitors, collect site admission and explain the sites facilities. These volunteers provide information on a wide variety of topics: membership benefits, where to find information about ancestors and special activities and events.

Exhibit Host

The Exhibit Host position helps visitors understand topics covered in the world class J. Curtis Earl Arms Collection, the Electrical Exhibit and other rotating exhibits at the Old Idaho Penitentiary Historic Site.  Hosts should be able to physically navigate through the site, talk with and answer questions from a variety of patrons, be patient and courteous, and maintain a warm and friendly attitude.

Work with Collections

Volunteers in the collections department will have the opportunity to assist curators, registrars, librarians, and archivists with the inventory, processing, and cataloging of various documents and artifacts in the Historical Society's collections. Get a “hands on” perspective of the collections held in the Idaho State Archives and Idaho State Museum.

Research and Writing

Each year thousands of researchers visit the reference library in search of genealogical or other historical topics. Library registration desk volunteers offer a friendly welcome, register patrons and provide directions to a variety of resources.

Administrative Work

Filing, data entry, fact-checking, organizing supplies, conducting mailings, preparing materials, re-foldering documents, taking photographs and doing research are all tasks completed by volunteers working behind-the-scenes. 

Special Skills

If you have an unusual, specialized or historically-related skill to share, complete a volunteer application to let us know!