The Smithsonian benefits from the work of thousands of passionate volunteers who support the organization on-site in our museums, zoo, and other facilities.
Today, digital technology makes it possible for people who believe in the Smithsonian mission to make significant contributions online. "Digital Volunteers" can now take on important assignments to expand access to the Smithsonian's massive collections, and can participate in a variety of research programs. Some roles require special knowledge or skill, but many do not.
Selected opportunities are described below.
Smithsonian Transcription Center
Launched in July 2013, the Smithsonian Transcription Center seeks to engage the public in making our collections more accessible. Citizen scholars are invited to transcribe historic documents including diaries and working papers of prominent Americans and records associated with the Smithsonian's vast scientific collections. Transcription makes these important materials more accessible to researchers around the world, as well as the general public.
To date, more than ten thousand citizen scholars have come to the Transcription Center and engaged with the wide array of documents posted there by Smithsonian archivists and curators—from field notebooks surveying snakes and reptiles in South Dakota in 1894 to the diaries of Leo Baekeland, the American chemist and founder of the modern plastics industry.
To learn more about this opportunity and get involved as a citizen scholar, visit the Smithsonian Transcription Center.
Smithsonian Wikipedian Volunteer Program
The Smithsonian seeks digital volunteers to assist in contributing content to Wikipedia related to our collections and areas of expertise. Improving the quality and quantity of reliable information on Wikipedia, as well as usage of Smithsonian resources on the site, helps meet our mission, the "increase and diffusion of knowledge." We seek experienced and motivated Wikipedia editors who are technically proficient in both the software and the norms of the Wikimedia community. To find out more about how to become a Wikipedia volunteer for the Smithsonian, visit the Smithsonian Institution's WikiProject.