Join Our Community
Employment, Volunteer, and Internship Opportunities
While there are no staff positions available at this time, we encourage you to check back often. If you are interested in getting to know the organization and build your resume, please consider a volunteer or internship opportunity.
Volunteer at MHS
Please Note: Summer volunteer and internship positions in the research library, museum and digital department are currently full. Applications for fall (Sept-Dec) positions in these departments will be reviewed after June 1, 2016.
Whether you're new to Portland or have been here a while, consider getting involved at Maine Historical Society as a way of learning more about your city's past, exploring its great cultural offerings, and connecting with like-minded folks.
Volunteering at Maine Historical Society allows you to build your resume while engaging in your community, and giving back. Volunteers are an integral part of all aspects of MHS—we couldn't do it without you! More than 100 people contribute their talents to help us fulfill our mission.
We have a wide variety of opportunities available year-round—in Visitor Services, the library, with school groups, in museum galleries and collections, and more. What fits your fancy and aligns with your skills? Check out the options below and then complete the online volunteer application form. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!
All volunteer positions take place at MHS's campus located at 485–489 Congress Street in Portland primarily during regular business hours, although some evenings and weekend slots may be available for special events. Daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, or occasional commitments may be arranged.
Assignments for volunteers might include assisting with general organizational tasks, entering program information into online events calendars, staffing donor events, and other similar responsibilities. Some tasks can be done from home if preferred.
Brown Research Library
Success of the Brown Research Library depends heavily on our supportive volunteer community. Volunteer duties available in the library include processing collections, cataloging, data entry, indexing, inventorying collections, digitization, transcription and conducting general historical and genealogical research. In general, library volunteer positions are seasonal and operate on a Winter (Jan-Apr), Summer (May-Aug) and Fall (Sept-Dec) schedule, and commence during public hours. We welcome applications year round, but positions are usually filled two to three months prior to the seasonal start date.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Brown Research Library, please complete the online application form.
Digital Engagement Department
If you are interested in helping with digitization or cataloging of collections on Maine Memory Network, indicate this on the volunteer form. Online application form.
Finance and Administration
Task for volunteers in the Finance and Administration Department might include assisting with filing and other organizational tasks, data entry, answering phones and making calls, and other similar responsibilities. Online application form.
Volunteers in the museum help to document and care for the collection by cataloging, research, and preparing items for storage. They may also assist with specific research and collections projects. Training is provided but experience is certainly helpful and appreciated. Online application form.
Opportunities within the Education Department include the following. Unless otherwise noted, please complete the online application form to be considered for a volunteer position.
Wadsworth-Longfellow House or Portland History Walking Trail Docent. Many of our house tours are led by docents during the May-October open season, and at other select times throughout the year. All Walking Trail tours are led by docents, June-Columbus Day. Tours may be for the general public or school groups. If you are interested in applying to be a docent, you have two options.
- Complete the online application form and our Visitor Services Manager will set up an appointment to speak with you about one-on-one training to become a docent, which involves learning about Portland and Wadsworth-Longfellow family history, shadowing seasoned guides, customer service and tour guide skills, and safety and security standards. We invite applicants year-round!
- Participate in the next Portland History Docent training program, a collaborative effort between eight historic sites in Portland. While this is an excellent, multi-session program, and many PHD students do become MHS docents, we do not require participation in the program.
Museum Exhibition Greeter/Attendant. Some of our gallery spaces on campus require greeters and attendants to direct visitors, answer basic questions about the exhibitions, and monitor the space. These opportunities are generally in 3-4 hour shifts.
School Program Assistant. We work with many school groups throughout the year and need assistance overseeing students in the galleries and while they are doing activities, as well as prepping activity materials and room set-up for their visits. We serve elementary, middle, and high school students. Volunteers working with school groups must submit to a background check.
Public Programs/Special Events Assistant. Occasionally we need volunteers to help out with book talks, lectures, workshops, and other special events. This might involve set-up and break-down of the space, greetings attendees, and assisting with speakers.
Or send a resume and cover letter to:
c/o Education Department
Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
Internships for high school, college, and graduate students are available in the Brown Research Library, and Museum, Digital Projects, and Education departments. Internships are defined as supervised practical training for a specified amount of time or number of hours. All internships are unpaid, unless otherwise noted. Projects will vary according to individual needs and goals of the student and MHS. Traditionally, internships are offered in the fall, spring, or summer but other arrangements may be available.
Internships for college credit are available; however it is the responsibility of the applicant to make prior arrangements with their educational institution. Prospective interns should be advised that space is limited and positions are awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
If you are interested in an internship with the Maine Historical Society, please fill out this online application form.
Or mail a resume and cover letter to:
Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
Portland's History Docents Program
The 2015 PHD program took place from March 5 to April 30. If you are still interested in becoming a Docent at MHS for the 2015 season, please contact our Visitor Services Manager to discuss one-on-one training. We do not require you to go through the PHD program to become an MHS Docent.
Portland's History Docents Program (PHD) is a collaborative effort by Greater Portland Landmarks, Maine Historical Society, Tate House Museum, Victoria Mansion, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, and Eastern Cemetery.
Each spring, these organizations join forces to provide a nine-week training program for new prospective volunteer guides at each organization's respective museum site. Several weeks of lively and informative talks and presentations take place at MHS, combined with site visits to each partnering organization.
Upon graduation, PHD participants become eligible to volunteer at the site(s) of their choice, and training at those sites is scheduled on an individual basis. Graduates are asked to commit to a year of volunteer time. At MHS, docents provide tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, conduct the Old Port Walking Tour, assist with school groups, and work in other aspects of MHS operations.
The 2016 program will begin in early March and run through the end of April, from 9AM - Noon. Cost is $30, or $20 with a valid student I.D. Applications for the program are processed through Greater Portland Landmarks beginning in late fall. For more information on the PHD program and what you can expect at MHS, contact us the Manager of School and Interpretative Programs.