Chatham Light Coast Guard Station
Visitors at Atwood House viewing portraits of ship captains
Meeting of volunteers at Atwood Museum
Volunteers in shop at at Atwood House Museum
Tour group at Atwood Museum
Volunteers at Atwood museum in Chatham
Staff and volunteers at Atwood Museum
Janet Marjollet at Atwood House Museum

Get Involved: Volunteering

Why volunteer at the Atwood Museum?

Volunteers are the backbone of the Chatham Historical Society and its Atwood Museum. They range in age and include anyone with an interest in history and a desire to share it. Volunteers are needed in virtually all aspects of the Museum’s activities.

Reach out to us at:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 508-945-2493

Areas in need of volunteers include but are not limited to the list below. The museum provides training, support, and a flexible schedule.

Seasonal Volunteer Positions, Primarily Summer and Fall

Volunteering projects and positions vary throughout the year. We match up your interests with what you enjoy doing the most. This is also a chance to try something new.

  • Docent/tour guide, 3 – 4 hour shifts
    • Conduct tours of specific exhibits and/or general tour guide
    • Shifts are 10 am – 1pm or 1pm – 5pm
    • Assist visitors
    • Assist on special projects and with groups, as needed and based on interest
  • Host 3 – 4 hour shifts,
    • Welcome visitors
    • Provide general information
    • Handle admissions
    • Assist with accepting memberships
    • Shifts are 10 am – 1pm or 1pm – 5pm
  • Shop assistant/clerk
    • Welcome visitors
    • Sell merchandise
    • Provide general information
    • Handle admissions, as needed
    • Assist with accepting memberships

Year-round Volunteer Positions with flexible time-away scheduling

  • Writers, proofreaders, and/or website input volunteers for various projects
    • Write small articles for Museum magazine, enewsletters, the media, museum labels and more!
    • Proofread and edit material written by staff and volunteers
    • Provide feedback and ideas on topics
    • Conduct research as needed
  • Exhibit Planners and assistant Exhibit Planners, for future exhibits, 2 – 3 hours per week
    • Plan and produce short term and long term exhibits
    • Design exhibits
    • Create budget for exhibits
    • Assist with getting potential sponsors and grants, as available
  • Publicity Coordinator or assistant Coordinator, 2 – 4 hours per week
    • Update information in websites, our own and/or other event sites
    • Send information to media
    • Arrange for interviews,
    • Develop media contacts and rapport with current contact
    • Handle social media
    • Send out email notices, Constant Contact news and announcements
    • Handle both internal and external communication
  • Collections Manager, 3-8 hours per week
    • Provides direction to volunteer and staff on collection
    • Helps manage the collections data base
    • Manage Accession and De-accession process
    • Oversee Objects & Collections team
    • Contact donors and potential donors about material
    • Obtain additional information on objects – the back story, as available
    • Assist with obtaining/determining values of items
    • Assist with processing items, coding, describing, storing
    • Special training provided
  • Museum Guides, 3 1/2 – 30 hours per week
    • At least 50 needed in the summer and 6 year-around for special events and groups
    • Click for job descriptions and volunteer form.
  • Volunteer Coordinators, 2-4 hours per week
    • Coordinate volunteer activities
    • Schedule volunteers
    • Assist in training and cross utilizing volunteers
    • Help develop volunteer lists showing skills and interest
    • Help recruit volunteers
  • Membership Coordinator
    • Help track new and existing members
    • Work with volunteers and staff on membership processing
    • Coordinate mailings of membership renewals and new member acquisition
    • Create reports
    • Provide feedback on membership programs
  • Development, 2 -3 hours per week
    • Responsible for or assisting with new revenue sources
    • Implement sponsorship programs
    • Assist with fundraisers
    • Provide support to membership
  • Website Updates
    • Review contents of website
    • Assist with updating content and photographs
    • Update website, as feasible

List as of 2/10/2020

Volunteer for our Private Events!

Staff and volunteers at Atwood Museum

We’re seeking volunteers for our private events. Our private events help support our educational programming.

Seeking food servers, photographers, decorators, lighting designers, bartenders (18+), and people interested in running the gift shop at our private events.

These events are periodical, usually in the evening, with flexible 4-hour shifts. (Stipends available.) Contact Event Coordinator [email protected]

Volunteers working at Atwood Museum
Volunteer leading tour group at Atwood Museum
Stephanie Bartlett in the office at Atwood Museum
A volunteer painting a display at the Atwood Museum
Some of the staff at the Atwood Museum

Why Join Us?

There are many reasons why so many have chosen to spend their time at the Atwood Museum:


One of the main things you’ll do here at the Atwood Museum is make new acquaintances! There are over 100 volunteers coming and going from the AHM year-round. If you are looking to chat with new people (and make some great friends!), working in our front room as a hostess or gift shop attendant is the place for you! If you prefer a less social job, working in the Archives or conducting research may interest you more.


Are you a history buff? Interested in art or literature? The AHM offers dozens of volunteer opportunities in the archives and the costumes and textiles department where you can help uncover important pieces of Chatham’s past. Museum guides continue to tell us that they learn just as much about museum artwork and artifacts from visitors as they teach them!

Using Your Skills or Learning New Ones

Calling all artists, writers, handymen, and computer whizzes! If you have a special skill you would like to put to good use, come on down! Whatever your skill, we will most certainly have a job for you. If you enjoy learning new things, we will also train you.


We are lucky to have many teaching-oriented volunteers who develop programs such as our monthly Sunday lecture series and educational material for children. If you like teaching, we could use your help to make our department grow!

Good Old-Fashioned Fun

If you’re not interested in a regularly scheduled commitment but want to have fun for a day, we’d still love to have you! The Atwood Museum is getting busier and busier each year with special events. Jobs such as staffing food tables, handing out flyers, giving directions, etc. are vitally important to the success of our events. If you’re looking for a fun day of volunteering, inquire about any of our upcoming events – we would love the extra help!

While the Museum is only officially open from mid-June to mid-October, the work of the Museum and its volunteer opportunities continue behind the scenes year ’round. So… please join us any time!