Collections-based Opportunities

A small number of volunteers helps behind the scenes, for example with cataloguing, data entry, photography, transcription, cleaning, and moving objects.

The exact nature of the work depends on the collection's needs and the volunteer's skills and interests, but key qualities generally include commitment, a methodical approach, and attention to detail.

collections volunteer

There are relatively few opportunities to volunteer in collections, but we do advertise everything we hear about. Numbers of volunteers are restricted by the amount of work space and staff time available. Volunteers tend to help on a regular basis over a number of weeks or for several days over a shorter period.

Instrument Cleaning

An example of an ongoing opportunity is instrument cleaning at the Bate Collection. A small team of volunteers meets once a week during Oxford term time to help clean historical wind instruments. The volunteers receive training in appropriate conservation cleaning techniques, although at a general rather than professional level (this is not training to become a conservator!). Because this opportunity involves meeting as a group, we hope that it is sociable as well as interesting, with a positive and productive atmosphere.

Read about one volunteer's experiences of conservation cleaning at the Bate


All collections-based opportunities require specific training, which will be undertaken by supervisory staff.

Role Descriptions

Click on the role below to open a Word document with details of that role.

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