Volunteer Program

Volunteer heading

         The archives may be filled with records, but it is an empty place without people. There are few people more important to the department than volunteers. The archives cannot function at its best without them. If you have an interest in volunteering, an interest in meeting and helping others, an interest in helping preserve old documents, please consider working with us in the archives. We think you will enjoy the experience.

          There are opportunities to work in the Reading Room where you can help researchers. Here you will have the chance to meet people from all over the country. If you prefer working behind the scenes, there are many things you can do. Experience some time travel in working with documents from another century.

     Tennesseans are not called citizens of the “Volunteer State” for nothing. So we hope you will consider volunteering in the archives. If you are interested, please contact Ned Irwin by phone at (423)753-0393 or by email at nirwin@washingtoncountytn.org.

      To see photographs of the volunteers and staff at work, click here:  Volunteers and Staff.



     Our newest volunteer, Deven Kirby, is also our youngest. Deven started volunteering at the archives on Halloween Day 2022. She grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, just outside Houston. In 2015, Deven obtained her bachelor’s degree in Art History and Studio Arts from the University of North Texas. Earlier this year, she graduated with a master’s degree in Decorative Arts and Design History from George Washington University.

     Deven’s parents moved from Texas to Jonesborough a year ago, and when she completed her graduate work in Washington, D. C., she joined them. Soon afterwards, she began volunteering. While working in the archives, she has typed on the guide to the Guardianship Records and scanned early tax lists recently found in the miscellaneous records of the County Clerk’s office. 

     She brings varied educational and work experiences to the department. This includes internships with such organizations as The Houston Grand Opera Costume Department, the Fort Bend County Museums, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum. She has also worked at Barnes and Noble as a bookseller, a perfect job for someone who is an avid reader of romance, mystery, and history books. Deven has a variety of interests and hobbies, including sewing quilts, embroidery, and baking. She has a real interest in history and genealogy and is active with the Daughters of the American Revolution.

      When asked why she enjoys working here, she says she enjoys learning from everyone. “I have learned so much in the short time I have been there, such as how to handle old documents,” Deven said. In working with the old guardianship records, “I learned something new about my ancestor Baptist McNabb [an early county pioneer].”

    In a short time, we have really come to enjoy having Deven around and are appreciative of her work skills, knowledge, and pleasant personality.



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