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Indiana State Museum and 
Historic Sites

The Indiana State Museum has a diverse need for volunteers, both on an ongoing basis and for one-time events. Volunteers, helping museum staff members at the Indiana State Museum and at the 16 historic sites, ensure that the finest in activities, programs and special events are offered to our visitors.

History - The Indiana State Museum's volunteer organization was created in 1969 to provide public tours of the museum. In addition to serving as docents, museum volunteer assisted staff members in collections, archival work, publicity, education and special events. The mission of the volunteers echoes the museum's mission "to collect, preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Indiana."

The Birdstone Logo - The stylized birdstone design was chosen as the logo for the volunteers of the Indiana State Museum. Birdstones are prehistoric objects, found in the North-Eastern part of Indiana, and usually made of slate. Although its original function is still a matter of speculation, the craftsmanship of the birdstone indicates a high degree of skill and artistry. There is evidence that the birdstone was a highly valued possession of Indiana tribes. Prehistoric birdstones may be found in the collection of the Indiana State Museum.

Docent volunteers help ISM visitors become more knowledgeable about our state's natural and cultural history. School tour volunteers for children are an especially important need.

Speaker's Bureau volunteers travel locally giving presentations on specific topics about Indiana's history, cultures and individuals.

Fowl Play volunteers teach both verbally and visually, about the birds of Indiana.

Covered Wagon Outreach volunteers, demonstrating to fourth-grade students though the use of a miniature covered wagon, show how and why pioneer families came to Indiana in the early 1800s.

Art Smart volunteers from the Indiana State Museum present a slide show of the works of Indiana artists from the early 19th through the 20th century. Art Smart was created by the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art as a visual means of learning about art, culture and history.

Museum Gift Shop volunteers help staff the gift shop at the register and with inventories. This is another very important need.

Information Desk volunteers both greet the public and help visitors with initial questions about museum services.

Publication volunteers help create and publish a monthly VolunteerISM newsletter with articles about artifacts, volunteer profiles, staff activities and special events. They also help with data entry and record keeping.

Crafts volunteers work together to create handmade items for sale at the museum gift shop.

Special Event volunteers often only work during events they particularly enjoy.

Section volunteers are trained to work with staff members in Artifact and Archival collections, Exhibits, Education, and Public Relations.

Volunteers at the Indiana State Museum have many opportunities to hear interesting speakers at the monthly meetings, attend classes provided by the education section of the ISM, and enjoy trips to historic sites in Indianapolis and around the state.

Volunteer training is necessary and provided on a regular basis. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Indiana State Museum or the Historic Sites, please contact us.

 CURATOR:  Debbie Specht
 PHONE:  (317) 232-8351
 FAX:  (317) 232-7090

© All images on these pages unless otherwise indicated are the sole property of the Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites, images may be downloaded for archive purposes only and may not be republished electronically or in print.

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