Volunteering: Reports and Case Studies

This page contains evidence, guidance and links to online resources thatcan support volunteer management in archives and records-managementservices



Read The Impact of Volunteering in Archives (published March 2018)

Read Metrics for Volunteering in Archives, Recommendations from the ARA Volunteering Committee (published January 2016)

Read Williams, C. Volunteering in Archives 2014 (published February 2015)

Read Executive Summary of Managing Volunteering in Archives (published January 2014)

Read Full Report of Managing Volunteering in Archives (published January 2014)


Lindsay, H. Volunteering in Collections Care: Research Report, Archives & Records Association, 2011. Read Report here.

Ray, L. Volunteering in Archives, National Council on Archives 2009. Read Report here.  



Volunteering in Collections Care: Best Practice Guidance, Archives & Records Association, 2011. Available here.



Many services have kindly shared their experiences of Volunteering through their submissions to the ARA Volunteering Annual Award. Read submissions for the 2011-2014, and 2017 Volunteering Awards here.


Case Studies:

The following case studies are available in Volunteering in Collections Care: Research Report, 2011:

  • Bedfordshire & Luton Archives Service
  • University Archives and Special Collections Centre, University of the Arts, London
  • Shropshire Archives
  • Plymouth & West Devon Record Office
  • Wolverhampton City Archives
  • University College London (UCL) Special Collections Library
  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • Westminster City Archives
  • Norfolk Record Office
  • Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University


The following case studies are available in Volunteering in Archives, 2009

  • Hampshire Record Office - Formalising Volunteering policies and practices
  • Bexley Local Studies & Archive Centre, (Bexley Library Service) - Supporting Family History Research
  • Bury Archives Service - Encouraging return to work
  • Flintshire Record Office - Working with partner organisations to deliver volunteering opportunities
  • Worcestershire Record Office - Youth Volunteering
  • University of Reading Museums and Special Collections Service - Student volunteer work with archives
  • The Ballast Trust - Bringing in specialist expertise
  • Gloucestershire Archives (in partnership with the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives and The National Archives (A2A) - Remote Volunteering
  • Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service - Project Specific Volunteering
  • Devon Record Office - Project Specific Volunteering

The Mills Archive Trust have kindly provided a case study relating to the receipt of the Queen's Award for Volunteering in June 2019.




This section includes information on training and online resources relating to volunteering provided by external suppliers. This is intended to complement the training provided by ARA, details of which can be found here.

General management of volunteers




In person



Maximising Impact


Managing volunteer projects


Transcription guides


http://transcribe-bentham.ucl.ac.uk/td/Help:Transcription_Guidelines (quite detailed and specific to the Bentham manuscripts but a useful starting point)

General resources

NCVO - https://www.ncvo.org.uk/

Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit - https://www.ncvo.org.uk/volunteering-management/1-publications/P78-volunteering-impact-assessment-toolkit

Guidance for Volunteer Cataloguing in Archives (TNA) - http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/volunteer-cataloguing-in-archives.pdf

Directory of Social Change - www.dsc.org.uk

Investing in Volunteers - www.investinginvolunteers.org.uk

National Association for Voluntary and Community Action - www.navca.org.uk

Queens Award for Voluntary Service - https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service

Volunteer Development Agency (Northern Ireland) - http://www.volunteering-ni.org/

Volunteer Scotland - https://www.volunteerscotland.net/

Volunteer Ireland - http://www.volunteer.ie/

Wales Council for Voluntary Action - http://www.wcva.org.uk/