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Creating Symbiotic Relationships through Volunteer and Internship Programs

October 6th 2020

2:00 PM EDT | 11:00 AM PDT

Volunteers and interns. Many archives and cultural heritage institutions rely on them and most archivists have served in one or both roles over the course of their own professional development. COVID-19 has significantly altered resource allocations and access to archival collections in 2020, raising the bar for creative, adaptive approaches for practitioners and users alike.

Volunteers and interns bring energy and enthusiasm to collection processing and special projects and can help to free up staff to focus on tasks that require greater skill, experience or expertise. Yet if the volunteer or intern program isn’t properly established and ethically sustained, it can drain off vital resources, frustrate staff, and even hurt relationships with some of your archive’s most significant supporters.

Listen to Sarah Hayes, Digital Archivist at The Trustees of Reservation, and Heather Ryckman, Manager, Corporate Archives at The Co-operators Group, share lessons learned, tips, and techniques for building and sustaining successful volunteer and internship programs. They also describe projects and collections that have benefited from the support of auxiliary workers.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Identify tasks and projects that interns or volunteers can (and will want to) support
  • Learn ways to manage performance and recognize contributions
  • Leverage your network to recruit a pipeline of qualified, inspired volunteers


Sarah Hayes, Digital Archivist at the Trustees of the Reservation

Heather Ryckman, Manager, Corporate Archives at The Co-operators Financial Services Limited

About the Trustees

The Trustees of Reservations is a non-profit land conservation and historic preservation organization dedicated to preserving natural and historical places in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Trustees are the oldest regional land trust in the world and own title to over 100 properties on 25,000 acres, all of which are open to the public. Properties include historic mansions, estates, and gardens; woodland preserves; waterfalls; mountain peaks; wetlands and riverways; coastal bluffs, beaches, and barrier islands; farmland and CSA projects; and archaeological sites.

About The Co-operators Group

The Co-operators is a leading Canadian multi-line insurance and financial services co-operative with $41.7 billion in assets under administration. The Co-operators subsidiary companies provide solutions in four core areas: property and casualty (P&C) insurance, life insurance, institutional asset management and brokerage operations. The company is supported by 5,350 employees and a dedicated financial advisor network with 2,753 licensed insurance representatives throughout Canada. It also serves 252 credit unions with more than 5.7 million members.