Developing a Volunteer Project

Done By Volunteers and Interns Blog

Activities and accomplishments of Minnesota Historical Society volunteers and interns


The Minnesota Historical Society's volunteer and intern programs welcome people from all communities to engage in mission-related projects. Over 2,660 volunteers and interns contribute 53,400 hours hours annually. This diverse volunteer corps helps to achieve the MNHS mission — Using the Power of History to Transform Lives.

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Developing a Volunteer Project

By: Rebekah Bjork | January 17, 2020

Volunteer Matt has been interested in history since he could remember. He even worked at a Collections Center at Southwest State University when he was in school. After he graduated, Matt started a 40-year career in real estate development. 

Matt’s volunteer project is to create real estate reports for the Facilities & Risk Management department. He looks at a combination of the physical layout of MNHS sites, ownership, boundaries, easements at the historic site property, underground items like fuel tanks, gas lines, electric lines, overhead stuff, anything that encroaches on the property, legal descriptions, and legal documents. In his 5 years of volunteering at MNHS, he has conducted 10 site reports!

Matt says he enjoys volunteering at MNHS because he enjoys going into the history of properties because it is useful and critical information. It is also another way for him to continue to learn, problem-solve, and stay in touch with the real estate development world.

MNHS staff Diane Adams-Graf said “Matt has given, and continues to contribute, invaluable research services to MNHS in his title research and reports. These are legal histories and recordings of various types of ownership and restrictions for any specific MNHS property. They provide critical information in identifying potentially dangerous problems associated with title and responsibilities with properties owned or under MNHS stewardship. Matt has created numerous title reports and has called attention to a number of problems or questions over the years. Matt has also given us great assistance in resolving identified issues. 

“The deep experience, highly technical and specialized skills, and devoted time Matt brings to the task make Matt a very special volunteer. MNHS is grateful for the significant findings he has documented and the research and recommendations he continues to donate. We are so thankful to have him part of our team!”