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 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

Margaret Hougland - Volunteer Spotlight

Margaret has always been interested in volunteering. That interest and her love of our local history and genealogy led her to begin volunteering in the archives in June 2017,  just a couple of months after we opened the archives to the public. Prior to that date, she was a strong proponent for establishing an archive program for Washington County and helped in the effort that ultimately established the department in 2011. She has also promoted the establishment of a county archive program in her home county of Carter.

She was born and grew up in Elizabethton, Tennessee, where she graduated from high school. Margaret left to attend college at Brigham Young University in Utah and later became the first woman to obtain a Ph.D. from the University of South Dakota. The opening of ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine in the 1970s brought her back to the area after a 25 year absence, where she was part of the college’s inaugural faculty. She taught in the Anatomy Department for 38 years and was the first female president of ETSU’s Faculty Senate.

Margaret enjoys researching and preserving family histories and has written and published several family history related books. She is an active and long-time member of the Watauga Association of Genealogists holding a variety of offices and currently edits the society’s semi-annual Bulletin.

When asked what she enjoys about working in the archives, she says it is working with others and being able to help preserve the historical documents. Some of  her most interesting work she finds in scanning and digitizing “old, old documents. Just getting to touch them and to contribute to their preservation was humbling.” This included scanning the early tax lists for Washington County that can now be viewed by the public on the department’s website.


Archived Articles

Volunteer Spotlight 

Betty Jane Hylton

Georgia Greer