Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer

The Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Program is managed centrally by the Smithsonian's Office of Visitor Services (OVS); therefore applications should be directed to them and not to the National Air and Space Museum. 

This program provides assistance to the Smithsonian staff by recruiting and placing individuals who wish to contribute their time and expertise to specific areas of study within the Institution. Volunteers in this program work with staff members on both short and long-term projects.

Opportunities are generally available in archives, libraries, administrative offices, conservation laboratories and curatorial divisions related to art, history and science collections. Placements are determined by matching volunteer qualifications, knowledge, interests, and availability with project requirements.

Upon completion of a written application and a personal interview as well as successful completion of a background investigation, qualified applicants are referred to staff members for consideration. Training, if required, is provided by the project supervisor. A minimum time commitment of 3 months, 6 hours per week during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, is required.

Translation Services: Volunteers translate documents, correspondence, and journal articles for Smithsonian staff. Translators generally work at home at their own pace, but occasionally, may be called upon to provide oral interpretation assistance for official visitors during meetings and conferences.

Find out more about the Smithsonian's behind-the-scenes volunteer opportunities.