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Docent Volunteer

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Positions8 Remaining
Close DateJune 1st, 2015 or when space runs out.
Age Limit18 and up
General Function and Scope:

Docent volunteers are responsible for welcoming, orienting, and guiding groups of visitors through the Ransom Center. The primary function of the docents is to lead tours through our exhibition space, including items on permanent display, the Gutenberg Bible and First Photograph, and rotating exhibitions (1–3 per year). Ensuring all visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience is the position’s primary goal.

Time Commitment: Position requires at least a 4-hour per week commitment from July 2015 through June 2016.  This time includes training, preparation, and tours. Weekday and weekend shifts are available.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Plan, practice and implement guided tours of the current exhibitions.  Duties include:

  • Exploring the exhibitions to learn about their content and context
  • Reading docent materials including labels, articles, and recommended books
  • Greeting and orienting visitors to the Ransom Center
  • Engaging groups of 5–20 visitors in the galleries
  • Interpreting the exhibitions for visitors of all ages
  • Providing other information, as needed
Volunteers will be expected to:

  • Attend all mandatory training sessions            
  • Learn the layout of the Ransom Center
  • Keep informed of upcoming exhibitions, programs, and special events
  • Become familiar with policies and protocols
  • Work in cooperation visitor services staff, gallery attendants, and guards to ensure all visitors’ needs are met. 

  • Specialized training about/on the Center’s renowned collections and exhibitions
  • Behind-the-scenes perspective of one of the world’s finest cultural archives, including interactions with curators, archivists, librarians, and other experts in the field
  • Interact with people of all ages, and learn to speak eloquently about diverse topics
  • Special interest activities and book club for volunteers
  • Access to lectures and special events
  • Discount in the Ransom Center’s store

Friendly individual with strong communication skills, who is resourceful, flexible, listens well, is friendly and comfortable interacting with visitors of all ages, and has an interest in learning more about the Ransom Center’s collections. Ability to maintain a pleasant attitude even under stress preferred. Ages 18+.

 How to Apply: Complete and return a volunteer application by Monday, June 1. The application is available at Volunteer training will begin in July. Contact Lisa Pulsifer at  with any questions. 

Applications will be reviewed, and you will be contacted by a Ransom Center staff member to arrange an in-person interview. Submitting a completed application doesn’t guarantee a volunteer position.
CausesArts & Culture
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Location: 300 West 21st street, Austin, TX 78712, United States