Volunteering at the ARC

Volunteering is at the heart of what we do in the ARC. Our volunteers have been involved since the beginning helping us set the ARC up and have been vital to helping us make our collections accessible to all. Volunteers in the ARC get a chance to get hands on experience working with archaeological objects and to develop new skills in archaeology and caring for artefacts.

Volunteer responsibilities can include:

  • Repacking archaeological finds
  • Washing archaeological material
  • Cataloguing archaeological material
  • Supporting with public engagement and tours
  • And much more than this!

Please see this general profile for our volunteers.

Volunteering usually takes place weekdays (Monday-Friday) between 10am to 4pm. We currently have very limited capacity for weekend volunteering.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, then please follow this link to express your interest. You will then be invited for an induction session which periodically take place throughout the year.

We have over 100 people who volunteer or are interested in volunteer in the ARC and we only have a small team. We are keen that everyone gets a chance but there may be a bit of a wait.

Volunteer testimonials

Enough of us saying what you get from volunteer here, hear from our volunteers themselves!

'I have been working in the ARC on Wednesdays since 2021 when the ARC opened. I work as part of a small team whose tasks include: Moving boxes from one part of the ARC to another (we do this at least 3 times per box!), reboxing and recording - as some of the archaeology comes to us in boxes which are in a really bad condition and cataloguing. I also help with tours of the ARC and on Open Days, where people are invited in to have a look around and listen to the history of the ARC and of some very interesting pots, flints and bones etc. found locally. Overall I really enjoy my time spent working with everyone involved and I feel that I have made a lot of new friends.' Linda

'I started in the ARC over 2 years ago before it was open and now I have a sort of kindred spirit for the ARC. I’ve made friends with my fellow volunteers in the ARC, a comradeship that involves team work with fun.' Paul

'I volunteer because I find it exciting that when I wash finds I am probably the second person to touch it since the item, whether bones or pottery, went in the ground.  The first person is the one digging it up!' Carol

'I love working at The ARC because the jobs required are so varied.  Tasks I have done in the past 18 months include, moving boxes; giving guided tours; sorting and bagging contents of old boxes and putting into new ones and entering information into excel spreadsheets. I have also been fortunate enough to be part of a small group of people who are learning osteology,  which involves working with skeletons. It is satisfying to know that all these tasks will be of use to researchers in the future.  It also gives me physical exercise and keeps my brain working! Add the friends I have made and I would recommend it to anyone willing to commit some of their time in exchange for a very satisfying and enjoyable activity.' Frances

Summer Student Work Experience Placements

During the summer months, we run a series of one week summer placements for students aged 16+ who are currently in education (GCSE, A Levels or undergraduate degree).

The placement involves:

  • Preparing archaeological archives to national standards
  • Cataloguing archaeological material
  • Assisting in managing a climate-controlled facility
  • Handling archaeological artefacts
  • Working alongside volunteers
  • Running site tours and object handling sessions
  • Publishing blog and social media stories sharing your discoveries
  • And much more!

The placements are already for filled for 2023 but if you are interested you can register your interest for 2024 by emailing arc@northnorthants.gov.uk