Volunteering at LHSA

LHSA runs an active volunteer programme, offering valuable experience for prospective archive students and conservation students and engaging projects for those with an interest in working in the archive sector.

Learning archive skills

For anyone considering a career in archives, it is vital to gain first-hand experience within an archive, and a placement or internship is a prerequisite for gaining a place on most postgraduate courses in Archive Management.  LHSA is pleased to offer archival experience on a voluntary basis to those wishing to pursue a career in this field, and has a proud record of success, with many past volunteers securing places on postgraduate courses. Volunteers can gain experience in a range of areas from handling and palaeography, to cataloguing and conducting archival research.

Find out more about what our archive volunteers have been up to over on the Projects page.

One day placements

LHSA receives a high number of requests for archive volunteer placements and in order to accommodate as many people as possible, a one day placement may be offered in the first instance to introduce volunteers to best practice handling, cataloguing and enquiries research skills.

Learning conservation skills

LHSA also offers the opportunity to gain experience within the field of paper conservation, and the work undertaken within our volunteer programme can be used to produce a portfolio for interview at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Training will be given in basic interventive conservation treatments including surface cleaning, repair and re-housing, followed by practical application of these skills on a discrete collection.  Wherever possible the cataloguing work of the archive volunteers is aligned with that of volunteers in conservation to develop a holistic approach to collection management.

Applying for a volunteer position

If you'd like to apply for a volunteer position, please complete the Heritage Collections Volunteer Enquiry Form. The Student Engagement Officer will respond to discuss any available opportunities, and if there are no positions available at LHSA, they may be able to offer a volunteer position within another part of the Centre for Research Collections.


Further information about volunteering in the archive sector

List of Archive Postgraduate Courses accredited by the Archives & Records Association

List of placement opportunities available in the UK and Ireland



LHSA hosts a number of internships with stipend throughout the year. These internships aim to provide paid experience to those who are in the course of (or have recently completed) a postgraduate qualification in archive management or conservation, or those who intend to pursue such a qualification.




Fiona making a four-flap folder Lynne cataloguing architectural plans Mariko making a condiition assessment