Volunteer (150)

Volunteering with the City Archaeology Program

Last updated December 2011

Questions or Submissions
Email submission of materials is preferred, though paper copies can be submitted by mail.

Submit by email:
Joseph.Bagley@cityofboston.gov

Submit by mail:
Attn. Joe Bagley
City Archaeologist
Boston Landmarks Commission
Environment Department
City Hall, Room 805
Boston, MA 02201

Volunteers are individuals who have chosen to donate their time for the purpose of aiding the City Archaeologist in collections management and archaeological fieldwork purposes. In general the volunteer program is meant to assist interested members of the public in the understanding of the archaeological profession and the archaeology of Boston. Volunteers are expected to have regular and scheduled appearances at the Lab, and perform tasks under the direct supervision of the City Archaeologist. These tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • re-bagging artifacts
  • collections stabilization
  • cleaning artifacts
  • moving collections within the lab space
  • cataloging
  • field excavations
  • research

Tasks will be assigned based on experience, interests, background, and availability of time. Volunteers gain important and valuable experience in archaeological laboratory and excavation techniques and can use their experience and skills to bolster a CV, college application, or job application. Volunteers will be asked to sign a form agreeing to proper behavior and treatment of the collections while at the lab. There are a limited number of volunteer opportunities and these will be given to those who meet the requirements below on a first come first serve basis. Access to collections is at the discretion of the City Archaeologist and may be terminated at any time.

Requirements:

High School students

  • A letter of support from a teacher or staff member of your school
  • A letter of permission written by the student’s parent or guardian (if under the age of 18)
  • A written letter of interest from the student stating why they are interested in volunteering at the lab, and what they would like to get out of the experience.

Juniors or seniors preferred, though others will be considered. Details of time commitment, schedule, and scope of work will be discussed prior to the beginning of volunteering

College students (undergraduate and graduate)

  • A current CV
  • A list of references

It is recommended that CVs be sent to the City Archaeologist prior to a volunteer opportunity; CVs will be reviewed before the start of a project, and you may be contacted if volunteers are needed. Enrollment in a relevant degree program (archaeology, anthropology, history, etc.) is an automatic qualification for volunteering. Details of time commitment, schedule, and scope of work will be discussed prior to the beginning of volunteering.

General Public

  • A visit to the lab, made prior to formal volunteer arrangements, so that you can see first hand the physical and mental requirements of volunteering.
    Visiting the City Laboratory »
  • A letter of permission written by the volunteer’s parent or guardian (if under the age of 18)
  • A written letter of interest from the person stating why they are interested in volunteering at the lab, and what they would like to get out of the experience.

Details of time commitment, schedule, and scope of work will be discussed prior to the beginning of volunteering

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