The Minnesota Historical Society's volunteer and intern programs welcome people from all communities to engage in mission-related projects. Over 2,500 volunteers and interns contribute 71,000 hours annually. This diverse volunteer corps helps to achieve the MNHS mission — Using the Power of History to Transform Lives.
Volunteers Gayle and Faye brought their years of sewing experience to work with staff Designer Brianna Wucuich and Senior Designer, Earl Gutnik to sew window treatments for the Suburbia exhibit. Now on display!
During our 2-day brainstorming session, volunteer Terry and his healthcare consulting background were a huge asset! Our group of 15 brought many perspectives, and Terry helped us sort through ideas in an efficient, supportive, enthusiastic way. He helped us strategize the experience beforehand, then provided a calm and organizing presence throughout. Terry's a great listener, and knows when to take the lead, and when to step back and let the process unfold. I highly recommend him as a facilitator!
Submitted by Suzi Gran
Julia volunteer for the collections department under Sondra Reierson. She is a quick study and has been updating the backlog inventories and printing donor paperwork, which saves the department staff and her supervisor a lot of processing time. She will be missed!
Submitted by Sondra Reierson, June 2015
Matt is volunteering for the Facilities/Risk management department as a Legal Researcher for Diane Adams-Graf. He is working with register of deeds records and investigating federal and state easements and restrictions as they relate to the Society's 13 properties throughout the State of Minnesota. Matt utilizes the skills and knowledge he gained as a real estate developer to help him efficiently to find and read documents needed for the research. We are fortunate that Matt brings to us his experience working with Housing Projects in the metro area.
While the records are not new acquisitions to the State Archives, Civil War-era records of Charles Stees were reviewed, listed and re-housed by State Archives volunteers Debbie and Mary. The first set of records, dated 1862-1867 (bulk dated 1862-1865), is of Capt. Stees as adjutant for Company G of the 6th Minnesota Regiment. Included are enlistment papers, correspondence and reports concerning ordnance and quartermaster stores, and muster rolls. The other set of records are Civil War pension files (dated 1881-1895) reflecting the work of Stees as a pension agent for 76 Civil War veterans and/or their survivors. The records include correspondence, memorandum, proof of disability, widows’ and soldiers’ applications, power of attorney, copies of death certificates, and related records. With enhanced arrangement and description the records are now more accessible for use by researchers, and will be valuable for family history and military history research.
Judy is currently working on an archiving project for the Government Relations department under the supervision of David Kelliher. There are about 20 - 25 boxes of materials and records of governmental relations activities which dates back to 20 years ago that needs to be filed. With Judy’s assistance and skills from archiving administrative and state records for the Minnesota Supreme Court, the records are 75% completed and filed within a year and a half. Aside from filing, Judy is also a receptionist at the library desk volunteering for Shivaun Watchorn. She was an active state law librarian and is using the experience to assist and direct people to the documents or resources that they may be interested in, and appropriate places and areas of information. Judy’s has been a great team player in the Minnesota Historical Society.
Tracey is leading the database of Minnesota photographers with a team of volunteers. The purpose of the project is to allow MNHS to have a collection of Minnesota photographers and to help benefit people such as researchers who are interested in photographers. Bruce White has been working on this project since 2008. He has predicted that this project will take 12 years to complete. Valerie Woelfel is an archaeologist volunteering on this project for a year and a half. As an archaeologist, Valerie has numerous research skills and database resources to efficiently work on the project. Lacy Siestema is a researcher who has been volunteering for over a year. The investigative project has allowed Lacy to become more efficient at researching and using the sources available. With the help of the volunteers, the project is 55% completed.
Joyce worked for the State of Minnesota as a job analyst and is now assisting Pamela Ostrom in Human Resources as a job classification specialist. She has used her skills to help managers and supervisors write out job descriptions and position in the correct language to match their needs along with reviewing the position at the correct salary range. Joyce is extremely knowledgeable and her assistance makes things easier, faster, and more comprehensive.
Michael is the Database Analyst and Technician for the tax credit program under the supervision of Barbara Howard. He has brought in troubleshooting and database skills to this project. During the time that Michael has been volunteering for the Historical Center, he has cleaned through 720 applications, making the data consistent and with continuity. The Historic Preservation Department is hoping to redesign the database. Without Michael’s expertise and help, designing the new database with a high and clean profile would be difficult.
Diana has 45 years of math experience teaching in junior high schools, high schools, and community colleges. She has been a key player in the Lumberjack Math instructional kit volunteering for Heidi Kloempken in the Museum Education and Lifelong Learning department. The Lumberjack Math instructional kit it a fun and unique way to introduce math and history for students grades 4 - 8. She has checked the math problems along with answers and reworded to make sure that the language of the problems are easy to understand for non-native English speakers. Not only does she check the word problems, Diana also offered great ideas and clarifications on the tool kit.