Historic House Docent


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


2715 Q Street NWWashington, DC 20007


Do you have a passion for early American history, the decorative arts, architecture, or museums in general? Dumbarton House, a Federal period house museum in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood recruits dedicated volunteers to share the story of courage, preservation, and the rise of a nation. Dumbarton House, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, offers volunteers an opportunity to increase their knowledge of early American history, life in Washington during the early days of the Republic (circa 1800) and Federal period decorative arts and architecture, which they then share with museum visitors. Our mission is preservation and our passion is creating a connection to the past for our visitors. We’d love your help!

Trained in the social history of the early 19th century and the decorative arts fashionable at the time, Docents are a vital link between the history of the house and its visitors. Docents are expected to commit themselves to two weekdays (Tuesday-Friday) or one day on the weekend each month in five-hour shifts (10am-3pm). Extensive training is provided for all Docents. Docents may also choose to volunteer to lead group tours.

We appreciate the valuable gift we get from all of our volunteers - the gift of time. Volunteers enable Dumbarton House to provide high quality tours and programs for visitors of all ages.

Ready to become a volunteer? Complete an application at: www.dumbartonhouse.org/volunteer-information.

Winter 2018 Docent Training:

Volunteer Training Sessions will be held on Tuesday Evenings from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Make-up sessions are available if you cannot make a session and independent training is available if our upcoming training does not fit into your schedule.

Week Day Evening Schedule (5:30-7:30pm, includes light refreshments)

  • February 27th - March 27th, sessions TBD
Week Day Schedule (10am-12pm, includes light refreshments)
  • coming soon!
Benefits Include
  • complimentary individual museum membership (includes 10% discount on Gift Shop purchases, invitations to private museum events and programs, discounts on admission to public programs, monthly e-news and Events Calendar, and two gust passes for public hours);
  • Ongoing enrichment programs featuring lectures and field visits to other sites of interest;
  • available off-street parking while volunteering at museum;
  • annual social events, including an annual appreciation event;
  • monthly newsletter for museum volunteers and staff; and
  • access to the Dumbarton House research library


  • History
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • People Skills
  • Public Speaking
  • Relationship Building

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Background Check
  • Orientation or Training
  • minimum of 5-10hours per month
  • completed volunteer application

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