Archival Community

Volunteers in Australian Archives

Why do volunteers choose to contribute thousands of unpaid hours per week to Australian archives? This paper presents the results of a nationwide web survey.

Nicola Laurent, Chris Stueven and myself are thrilled that our paper on ‘Volunteers in Australian Archives’ was published in the July 2017 issue of Archives and ManuscriptsA massive thank you to the 318 volunteers who took the time to complete our survey and the 117 archival organisations that participated. The article is available here.

Abstract: 

Why do volunteers choose to contribute thousands of unpaid hours per week to Australian archives? This paper presents the results of a nationwide web survey that provides insight into the demographics, motivations, and experiences of volunteers in Australian archives. The findings provide a representative overview of formal volunteers in Australian archives, determining ‘who’ they are, the value of the contributions they provide and the level of training and support offered to them. This study is a continuation of existing discussions about volunteers in Australian archives and represents an opportunity for the development of stronger relationships with the Australian archival volunteers, and through them, the communities our archives serve.

A special shout out also to our reviewers and Kylie Percival who helped us to write our first peer-reviewed paper. We’d also like to acknowledge the encouragement of the wonderful Sigrid McCausland who chaired our first conference session on the topic.