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Volunteer policy


Volunteer Policy Statement

The Kansas Historical Society volunteers are an important extension of the Society's staff. Volunteers perform a wide variety of work that is essential to the institution. The following policy statement is similar to the one applied to the paid staff to promote a maximum degree of excellence.

Service Categories

Several service categories are available within the volunteer program. Volunteers may serve in more than one category as long as time requirements permit. The education supervisor is responsible for coordinating the volunteer organization. However, a staff supervisor has been assigned to each membership category.

  • Archeology volunteer - Assists with processing archeological and ethnographic collections; provides data entry support; or scans slides and images.
  • Archives volunteer - Processes manuscripts, photographs, and other archival materials or assists patrons in the reference library.
  • Capitol volunteer - Conducts guided tours and staffs information desk at the State Capitol.
  • Discovery Place volunteer - Welcomes visitors and monitors activities in the children's hands-on Discovery Place.
  • Museum docent - Conducts guided tours of the Kansas Museum of History galleries.
  • Museum Store Volunteer - Assists with pricing, stocking, and sales.
  • Special Projects volunteer - Assists various divisions with special projects including research, clerical work, cataloging, planning, mailings, and special events.
  • Student Volunteer - Students between the ages of 13-16 are encouraged to call about changing volunteer opportunities at the Society.  During the summer months, the Education and Outreach Division uses student volunteers to assist with various programs.

Volunteer Benefits 

Volunteers at HollenbergVolunteers are entitled to a number of benefits not afforded the general public:

  • A keener understanding of Kansas history through access to reference materials, close working relationship with professional staff, and training sessions.
  • Monthly programs on scholarly topics held in conjunction with volunteer service area meetings. These programs are held in the first Monday of the month from September through May.
  • Free admission to all training activities, including lectures, workshops, and field trips.
  • The monthly Historical Society publication, Reflections, providing notifications of upcoming Society events prior to general public announcements.
  • A volunteer recognition party held in December.
  • Reduced admission to some special programs.
  • Access to behind-the-scenes areas of the Kansas History Center related to volunteer service.
  • Ten percent discount at the museum store.
  • Income tax deductions for out-of-pocket cash expenses incurred as a result of volunteer service.
  • An opportunity to be part of a group of people who are interested in preserving Kansas history and sharing it with the public.


An individual interested in becoming a volunteer first has an interview with a member of the Education and Outreach Division. During the interview, the volunteer's interest and experience will be discussed. Interested parties also will be given a general overview of the Kansas Historical Society and a thorough explanation of each service area in the volunteer program. Training programs and requirements will be discussed at this time. After the interview, both parties should make some careful considerations. The applicant should decide at this point if the volunteer program meets his/her needs and standards and if he/she can fulfill the requirements of the program. The interviewer should decide whether to accept the applicant into the program.


All volunteers are required to complete an application form. This form provides information on the different service areas. It also provides the staff with pertinent information on the volunteer to assist in matching the volunteer with the appropriate job. Volunteer Application (PDF).


Volunteers are required to attend all training activities held in their service category(ies). Required training is outlined by the volunteer supervisors. If unable to attend a required session, it is the responsibility of the volunteer to notify his/her staff supervisor. If possible, arrangements should be made to obtain the information presented at the session. An unreasonable number of absences jeopardize the individual's volunteer status. 

Dress code

Volunteers are often the only Society personnel visitors ever see or meet. It is imperative that volunteers make a good impression. Comfortable office dress is appropriate for most volunteer jobs. The volunteer name tag should be worn at all times when on duty.

Record keeping requirements

Annually, the Society compiles the hours donated by the volunteers. Volunteer hours are published in the Society's annual report along with the names of the volunteers. This information is also used for budget, lobby, and public relations purposes. It is important that all volunteers record the hours they work at the time they are incurred. A sign-in sheet is located in the Education and Outreach Division office. Volunteers should record the actual hours they work plus add one hour for travel time.

For tax purposes, volunteers can request the number of hours they have contributed or the number of trips to the Kansas History Center in a calendar year. This request should be made to the Education Supervisor.

Leave of Absence 

Volunteers are asked to notify their staff supervisor when they must take leaves of absence. Leave will be granted for no longer than one year. A volunteer who remains inactive for more than one year must reapply before returning.


In the event that a volunteer decides to resign, a letter of resignation should be submitted to the staff supervisor two weeks prior to the effective date.


The Society reserves the right to terminate a member's volunteer agreement if his/her services are no longer needed for any reason. In this event, the volunteer will be given two weeks' notice.