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Volunteers & Docents

Volunteers are the lifeblood of an institution such as SAR. SAR offers volunteer opportunities in the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC), Catherine McElvain Library, SAR Press, Business Office, and Membership Office. Over the last several years, volunteers have generously given innumerable hours of their time to support the mission of SAR and have become an important part of SAR’s multi-faceted activities.

Volunteer Opportunities

IARC Education volunteers work on implementing the IARC’s educational programs. This includes office assistance, outreach, conducting tours, helping to develop new programs, and assisting with the artist-in-residence program. Volunteers work to ensure programs are available to visitors of all ages.

IARC Collection volunteers assist with labeling, recording, and caring for collection items. They help IARC maintain, improve, and preserve the collection and its records, thereby making the collection more accessible.

IARC docents provide tours to visitors of SAR’s extensive Native art collection and also help conduct history tours of the campus. Docents are trained to provide visitors with insight into the connections between the material culture and its historical significance.

SAR Membership Lecture & Special Event volunteers assist SAR staff with event set-up, greeting attendees, providing membership information, and assisting with registration or ticket sales as needed.

Catherine McElvain Library volunteers perform a variety of tasks that contribute to the smooth functioning of SAR’s research library and its archival collection. The tasks depend upon the interests and skills of each volunteer and range from book sales and archival processing, to scanning and data entry.

SAR Press volunteers assist with SAR’s publication division by stocking inventory in the main warehouse, proofreading in-house publications such as catalogs and promotional materials, filing, and data entry. Potential volunteers with extensive proofreading/editing/indexing backgrounds will need to submit a resume indicating experience in scholarly publishing and provide work samples.

Business Office volunteers assist with filing, mailings, and office tasks as needed.


Volunteers participate in a training program pertinent to their chosen interests at IARC, SAR Press, McElvain Library, Business Office, or the Membership Office. Depending on the experience of a volunteer and their area of interest, the initial training may last anywhere from a few hours to several months.

IARC volunteers and docents attend quarterly meetings in which continuing education training is provided. During these sessions, guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds lecture on areas pertaining to the collection, volunteering or Native issues.


Volunteers receive the following complimentary individual membership benefits:


Call (505) 954-7200, or email info@sarsf.org.