Volunteer Opportunities

History just happens but preserving it takes work and volunteers are always welcomed. Preserving history work includes:

Museum Docents

Docent Susan Trumbell working with group of third graders.

Pitch in, have fun, and learn more about Novato’s history! Be a part of preserving Novato’s history by becoming a Guild volunteer. Here are some ways to get involved. See the contact information at the end of the list.

Museum Docent
Docents staff the museums on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00. The docents greet visitors and answer questions they may have about the exhibits. You can decide how often to volunteer, once a month, once a week, or more.

Artifact Inventory
One of the most important jobs at the museums is the documentation and inventory of historical artifacts (objects) that are given to the Guild. This involves entering information about the artifact in Past Perfect, a software program for history museums. We will provide training and support.

Exhibit Committees
If you like researching topics for new exhibits, locating artifacts, designing and setting up exhibits you will enjoy serving on the exhibit committee for either of the museums. For the Hamilton Field History Museum contact Ray Dwelly, cell 250-9348 or email him at; for the Novato History Museum contact Edna Manzoni at 892-9603.

Archive Projects at the Novato and Hamilton Field History Museums
Whether you have grown up in Novato or just moved here these projects are a great way to learn about Novato’s interesting past.

Photos
Thanks to a generous donation from the Novato Advance we have literally hundreds of photos and need volunteers to identify what’s in the picture and file them in the archive file cabinets.

Oral Histories
Do you like to hear personal stories about Novato? The museums have a great collection of Oral Histories on tapes/CDs. Volunteers are needed to listen to the tapes and take notes about the topics covered. There is a form to use that makes it easy and it is interesting.

Another task is to convert the transcribed oral histories from a floppy disk to a CD. This is computer work but with a little training, it’s not hard.

There is also a need for Oral History interviewers. We have the recording equipment, a list of people to interview and will provide training on how to conduct interviews.

Videos/DVDs
Much of Novato’s recent history has been caught on video and converted to DVDs. A list of the topics in each DVD needs to be made by watching them. The DVDs also need to be inventoried, labeled and organized so that people can view them. This involves simple computer skills and we will provide training and support.

General Maintenance
If you have some general “handyperson” skills and would enjoy building and repairing display cases and doing general facilities maintenance this is a volunteer job for you. For the Hamilton Field History Museum contact Ray Dwelly at  415-250-9348 or email him at ; for the Novato History Museum contact Roland Fuette at 415-892-4980 or email him at

Third Grade Tours
In the spring, many third grade classes visit the Novato History Museum as part of the history curriculum. They are greeted by the third grade docents who give them a tour of the museum and Old Town Novato. Serving as a Third Grade Docent is a great way to help students learn about the history of their community. Contact Cindy Motsinger 415-897-4881.

Web Site Contributor
The Novato Historical Guild has a web site with information and pictures from the museum’s archives. A contributor would create content for the web site by using photos, videos and/or oral history CD archives at either Museum. This would be a fun and creative way to share Novato’s history. You do not need to know how to post on a web, someone else will do that. Check out our web site at novatohistory.org, especially the History Photo Gallery.  Contact Susan Magnone at NHG1850@yahoo.com.

Contact information:

  • Hamilton Field History Museum contact Ray Dwelly at
  • Novato History Museum contact Susan Magnone at

If you have a special talent or interest that would help the Guild and the museums please let us know. Also, if you have any questions about volunteering, please send an email to or call Susan Magnone @ 415- 892-8458.