SHSND Home > Volunteer
image feature area


Volunteers are essential to the quality of service provided to the public by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. In addition to the thousands of visitors at the North Dakota Heritage Center, Pembina State Museum, and historic sites each year, the agency responds to many inquiries and provides assistance to researchers. At the North Dakota Heritage Center, public areas such as the information desk and museum store are staffed by volunteers, and docents provide museum teaching for visitors. Some historic sites are also staffed by volunteers, such as the Former Governors' Mansion in Bismarck during the summer months. Volunteers assisting staff have an impact on services provided statewide by the agency.

The volunteer program results from the desire to involve the public in activities of the agency and to meet certain needs. When the Heritage Center was opened on May 30, 1981, a group of volunteers was trained and on hand to give tours of the facility and to staff the information desk and museum store. Within a year, the program expanded to provide volunteers to staff special behind-the-scenes projects and a docents program. Volunteers currently work with paid staff throughout the agency on projects of varying degrees of complexity, from those requiring simple skills to the very specialized.

Volunteers are also utilized at some of our State Historic Sites:

Today, Heritage Volunteers represent a broad spectrum of society in terms of work experience, age (14 to 95), education, and ability. All volunteer work is important; every effort is made to coordinate volunteer skills and interests with needs of the State Historical Society. Volunteers are provided with orientation and on-the-job training, as well as the opportunity to participate in the volunteer study group, field trips, and various other programs.

Since the program’s inception in 1981, Heritage Volunteers have donated over 324,000 hours to the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Our nearly 200 volunteers receive a quarterly newsletter, Volunteer Voices, that shares news about ongoing programs and the countless contributions of the wonderful people who augment the work of the paid staff of the Society.

Each August, a Volunteer Recognition Banquet is held to celebrate the accomplishments of all volunteers and present a number of awards.

2018 award winners include:

Hospitality: Geneive Kirmis
Dedication: Doug Wurtz
Curatorial: Kathy Dorgan, Coliene Jacobson, Tom Kilzer, Sherri Snyder
Special Project: Connie Sprynczynatyk
Youth: Peighton Walker
State Historic Sites: Ben Gjorven
See previous award winners

If you are interested in volunteering for the State Historical Society of North Dakota, please complete the Heritage Volunteer Application Form and submit to the Visitor Services Coordinator.

Visitor Services Coordinator
State Historical Society of ND
612 East Boulevard
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
701-328-2674 or

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666

Social Media:
See all social media accounts