Career, Internship, and Volunteer Opportunities

Career, Internship, and Volunteer Opportunities

Careers with The Filson Historical Society

The Filson Historical Society, founded in 1884, is a privately-supported historical society dedicated to preserving the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley Region. We have served the public through our extensive library, varied museum artifacts, and our special collections department that includes over 2.1 million original manuscripts, letters, diaries, photographs, architectural records, and portraits.  Our collections form a regional educational resource that attracts national and international researchers.

We are an organization dedicated to providing continuing adult education in the form of a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal, Ohio Valley History, a quarterly magazine, The Filson, weekly lectures, historical tours, exhibits, reading-and-discussion groups, weekend-long conferences and field institutes and excursions.

The Filson Historical Society is a member-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, an equal opportunity employer, and provides its employees with industry competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package.

For general information regarding career opportunities, please contact the Filson Historical Society at (502) 635-5083.

Career Opportunities

Collections Assistant (Part-time)

The Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, seeks a part-time Collections Assistant with excellent customer service skills and demonstrated attention to detail. Reporting to the Curator of Photographs and Prints, the Collections Assistant will serve a dual role: supporting research functions in the Special Collections reading room at the Filson by working directly with researchers, and as a Photograph & Print Collection Assistant, coordinating Collections Rights & Reproduction requests,  assisting with photo and print remote queries, and other collection related duties.

Responsibility for the Special Collections reading room desk include describing and enforcing policies and procedures, monitoring researchers to ensure care of original items, photocopying, pulling, and re-shelving materials, and data entry.  Responsibilities for the Photo and Print Assistant include communicating with researchers and staff regarding collection reproduction orders, processing order paperwork & payments, data entry, and ensuring orders are delivered in a timely manner. This position will also assist the Curator of Photographs with reference requests, organization and description of collections, and other Photograph & Print Collection needs such as re-housing; organizing; and/or research as assigned.

This is a part-time position, 20-25 hours per week; shifts may be 3 full days (8:30-5pm), 5 half days (8:30am-1pm; 12:30pm-5pm), or a combination of the two. Position requires the ability to lift and carry boxes weighing up to 50 pounds.

Job Responsibilities

Special Collections Reading Room Desk

  • Works directly with researchers to describe and enforce policies and procedures while creating a welcoming environment
  • Monitors researchers in the Special Collections reading room to ensure care of original items and assists with handling and duplication paperwork
  • Makes photocopies/pdf scans for in-person patrons
  • Retrieves and re-shelves materials called by patrons
  • Enters all patron call forms into database with attention to detail
  • Assists with remote queries as assigned

Photo & Print Assistant

  • Coordinates incoming collection reproduction requests including processing paperwork & payments
  • Communicates directly with researchers and staff regarding reproduction requests
  • Delivers collection reproduction requests in a timely manner
  • Assists with Photograph & Print remote queries as assigned
  • Assists with Photograph & Print cataloging as assigned
  • Assists with other Photograph & Print Collection needs such as re-housing; organizing; and/or research as assigned

Required qualifications and competencies:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Customer service experience
  • Ability to work with and communicate effectively with people of a variety of different educational, ethnic, language and economic backgrounds
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated abilities working in a PC/Microsoft computer environment, especially in MS Word, Excel, Mail Merge and Outlook
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively in a dynamic environment; self-motivated and flexible
  • Excellent professional skills with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail; organized, and ability to manage time effectively

Physical requirements:

Requires working in an office environment regularly using a computer and able to see, hear, and use office equipment. The position involves sitting, standing, stooping or reaching, and requires the ability to push or pull heavy book carts and climb stools/ladders as well as frequently lifting and carrying boxes weighing 25 pounds or less, and occasionally boxes weighing up to 50 pounds. Working conditions include occasional work in areas that are cold, with poor lighting and/or dust.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in a library, archives, or museum environment

Interested individuals should send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references (with names, addresses, emails, and telephone numbers) to gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@hara1604126835s1604126835 by November 9, 2020.

Human Resources Professional (40-80 hours per month)


Oversees human resource operations for the Filson. Serves as the Human Resources Professional. Knowledge of a broad range of human resource strategies and practices, including compensation, performance management, safety, hiring and employee relations; able to apply these strategies and practices in compliance with employment regulations. Works with the President & CEO, Governance & HR Committee, and the leadership team to oversee and implement internal action items pertaining to the strategic plan.


  • Ensure the organization’s compliance with local, state and federal labor regulations
  • Help maintain the organizational culture of diversity, inclusivity, collaboration and teamwork through the hiring process and employee relations
  • Manage hiring, onboarding new employees/interns, terminating, handling disciplinary actions, documenting, assisting with employee departures, and supporting managers and employees
  • Oversee salary and benefits administration, including medical and other insurance provided to employees
  • Identify and schedule training as needed
  • Maintain employee handbook
  • Revise and maintain employee technology usage agreement (email, website, and social media)
  • Review all policies and procedures pertaining to human resources
  • Oversee employee appreciation (birthdays and other life events)
  • Manage all personnel records according to best practices and internal retention policy
  • Ensure job descriptions are standardized and up to date
  • Investigate employee issues and conflicts and bring them to resolution


  • Master’s Degree in business, human resources, or related area preferred; or Human Resources Certifications with a Bachelor’s Degree; or 10 years relevant experience with a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Five years of experience in Human Resources or related field
  • Excellent interpersonal skills working with all levels of staff and volunteers within the organization
  • Excellent overall communication skills
  • Flexibility in work schedule
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite

Inquiries and resumes with a cover letter should be submitted by email to the President/CEO, Richard H.C. Clay at this email address: gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@yalc1604126835drahc1604126835ir1604126835.  All resumes should be received no later than Friday, November 13, 2020.

Part-Time Event Assistant


Assist with events and grounds at the Filson, especially during nights and weekends, on an as-needed basis.


  • Set up and take down chairs and tables for events (including meetings, rentals, lectures, receptions, and other programs)
  • Perform grounds-keeping tasks, including picking up trash, weeding, sweeping, shoveling, salting, etc.
  • Place event signage, traffic cones, and direct parking for large events
  • Provide oversight of protected spaces such as exhibit halls or historic buildings
  • Clean up after events, including breakdown, sweeping, taking out trash, gathering linens and other table items, wiping down surfaces
  • Monitor vendor load-in and load-out for events; provide any necessary vendor monitoring or liaison services during events
  • Maintain clean and orderly storage areas
  • Operate Audio Visual systems (training provided)
  • Take tickets and registrations at the door for programs
  • Serve food and beverages as requested for Filson events/programs (this is not a requirement for outside rentals such as weddings or corporate meetings)
  • Other duties as assigned

 Job Requirements

  • Be reliable, punctual and willing/able to work weekend and evening hours
  • Provide friendly, warm, and prompt customer service
  • Lift and carry objects weighing from 15 to 45 pounds, or more with assistance
  • Support the Filson’s mission and abide by the code of ethics, policies, and procedures

Since our founding in 1884, The Filson Historical Society’s mission has been to collect, preserve, and tell the significant stories of Kentucky and Ohio Valley history and culture. In order to best support the mission, all employees are expected to make contributions to daily operations that are not explicitly stated within the scope of their job title or department duties. To that end, all jobs include the requirement to participate in duties that cross over departmental lines and are in the interest of the overall health of the organization and beauty of the campus.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest along with their resume to gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@nosl1604126835if1604126835 using the subject line “Part-Time Event Assistant.” Because of the nature of this position being on call and part time mostly nights and weekends, we will fill 3-4 positions on a rolling basis and are looking for hours starting immediately.


H. F. Boehl Summer Internship

Eligibility: Current enrollment in or recent completion of a graduate program in history, library science, archives, museum studies, or a related field.

Tenure of Internship: 100 hours to be completed in-house at the Filson.

Amount of Award: $15.00/hour

Interns work with appropriate curatorial staff and faculty advisers in areas of collections management and research. Recent projects have included processing manuscript and photograph collections, creating an online exhibit, and inventorying museum collections.

The application deadline for the Boehl internship is February 15th each year (or the Monday following the 15th if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday). To apply, please send a cover letter describing your research and collection projects you have conducted, your course work, and career objectives (in no more than two pages); your resume; and three letters of recommendation from those familiar with your work, including the faculty advisor directing your graduate work. Applicants are responsible for contacting all persons providing recommendations. You can email your application materials and direct any questions to gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@hcra1604126835eser1604126835.

Volunteers, Welcome to The Filson Historical Society!

Volunteering is a great way to learn more about history while helping to preserve the past for the enjoyment of future generations.  Meeting new people, learning and sharing information, and making a real contribution to the Filson are just a few of the benefits volunteers can receive for their time and effort.

At the Filson Historical Society, volunteers provide connections to the past and insights into the present.  Volunteers provide personal attention to visitors, perform behind-the-scenes assistance to our Collections Department, and work with the public in education and programming events … all by contributing their unique talents, skills and life experiences, and their knowledge about our community, our commonwealth and the Ohio Valley region.

The Filson Historical Society is committed to encouraging volunteer involvement at all levels in the organization. Please see our current volunteer opportunities below:

Volunteer Opportunities at The Filson


The Filson is seeking volunteer docents to give tours of the exhibits and the historic Ferguson Mansion. Initial and ongoing training for docents will be provided.

If you have the following attributes, you should consider becoming a docent:

  • A passion for connecting the public to local history
  • Great public speaking skills
  • Interest in local history and art
  • Punctual and reliable

Special Event Support

The Filson’s Education and Development Team is looking for volunteers to provide support during our lectures, exhibit openings, cultural pass program, and musical programs such as Jazz Night and Music Under the Trees. The Filson hosts more than 70 educational and entertaining events each year. Volunteer tasks will vary by event and typically include greeting attendees and answering questions, assisting with registration, monitoring gallery spaces, and helping direct the flow of traffic. Volunteers are asked to work a minimum of two hours. There is no set schedule for our special event volunteers.

It’s an exciting time at The Filson—join us!

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities, please contact Emma Bryan at 502-635-5083 or email gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@nayr1604126835bamme1604126835. Please note that all volunteers will be asked to complete a volunteer packet that includes a background check before they will be able to volunteer at the Filson.

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2021

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All events are currently postponed or virtual; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1604126835aciro1604126835tsihn1604126835oslif1604126835@hcra1604126835eser1604126835.


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