Career, Internship, and Volunteer Opportunities

Career, Internship, and Volunteer Opportunities

Careers with The Filson Historical Society

Join us in sharing history!

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

Native American Collections Specialist


This two-year, full-time, grant-funded position helps the Filson Historical Society address its relationship to Indigenous people with historical and cultural ties to the Ohio River Valley through a better understanding and ethical treatment of the Indigenous items currently in its stewardship. This position oversees the Filson’s compliance with NAGPRA regulations, including the preparation of inventories and summaries, cultural affiliation identification, reporting requirements, the repatriation of ancestral remains and funerary items, and ensuring the ethical and responsible care of Indigenous items in its custodianship with sensitivity and respect to Indigenous cultures. This position will work in partnership with Indigenous cultural, governmental, and educational organizations to ensure accurate and respectful inclusion of Indigenous history and cultures in Filson publications, public events, and long-term planning.


  • Identify, inventory, catalog, and determine the cultural affiliation of ancestral remains and cultural items currently in the Filson’s stewardship.
  • Oversee compliance with the regulations of the Native American Graves Protection Act (NAGPRA), including identification of ancestral human remains and funerary items, preparation of summaries, inventories, cultural affiliation reports, “Notices of Inventory Completion”, and “Notices of Intent to Repatriate” as required by NAGPRA regulations.
  • Reassess previous cultural affiliations and NAGPRA reporting and update as needed to ensure they are correct.
  • Act as a liaison between the Filson Historical Society, Native American nations, and the national NAGPRA program.
  • Oversee the repatriation of ancestral remains and funerary artifacts to appropriate Tribes or organizations in a manner that honors Indigenous voices in the cultural stewardship of their ancestors and their belongings.
  • Assist in the development of best practices and procedures for ongoing care of Indigenous cultural heritage that may remain in the Filson’s stewardship.
  • Coordinate Filson activities with other cultural and research organizations in the region, including the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission, Kentucky State Parks, colleges and universities, and museums in Kentucky and other states.
  • Supervise interns and volunteers who will support this project.
  • Contribute to a more inclusive and accurate account of the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley by reintroducing the voices and perspectives of Indigenous people in the past and present. Leverage platforms including the Filson’s quarterly newsmagazine and the peer-reviewed Ohio Valley History journal; contribute content to the Filson’s First American West digital project; and develop of grant-funded educational programing designed for K-12 classrooms.


  • Degree in archaeology, Indigenous studies, museum studies or related field. Demonstrated experience/knowledge directly related to the duties and responsibilities can be substituted for a degree.
  • Knowledge of Indigenous history, culture, and artifacts, particularly in Kentucky, the Ohio Valley, and Midwest (Note: some artifacts have origins outside of this region).
  • Working knowledge of Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and experience with compliance procedures.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in working with diverse communities and ability to develop meaningful relationships with tribal communities on behalf of the Filson.
  • Ability to work with culturally sensitive artifacts and information, including the physical handling of ancestral human remains and funerary items in a respectful and appropriate manner.
  • Knowledge of collections management processes including conducting physical inventories, cataloging, as well as handling, housing, and packing objects.
  • Computer proficiency, primarily with Microsoft Office, especially Excel. Experience with PastPerfect or other collections databases preferred.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary of $50,000 per year with a competitive benefits package including health and life insurance. The work of this position will be supported by a grant-funded archival supply and travel budget and through the assignment of at least one but possibly more undergraduate interns.

This is a full-time position, expected to work 40 hours per week, based in the Filson’s campus in Louisville, Kentucky. It reports to the Director of Collection & Research. The usual hours will be 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, with occasional hours on weekends and evenings. Travel within Kentucky and the United States is required. The term of the position will run from January 2022 to December 2023.

Application Procedures

Applications including 1) a cover letter detailing relevant experience and expertise, 2) a resume or CV, and 3) contact information for three professional references should be submitted to Dr. Patrick A. Lewis, Director of Collections & Research, via email at gro.l1634495346aciro1634495346tsihn1634495346oslif1634495346@siwe1634495346lkcir1634495346tap1634495346 by Friday, October 29, 2021. Questions about the position and application process should also be directed to Dr. Lewis.



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.l1634495346aciro1634495346tsihn1634495346oslif1634495346@hcra1634495346eser1634495346.

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.l1634495346aciro1634495346tsihn1634495346oslif1634495346@nayr1634495346bamme1634495346. 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 2022

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 will reopen to the public on September 1st, 2021 – Read More! All events are currently being held virtually; 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 are resuming in person research, and suggest reserving a seat – learn more here.  The research library is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm.  Please note: For the remainder of 2021 the Filson’s Research Library will be closing at 12:30 pm on the third Friday of each month.

We also continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1634495346aciro1634495346tsihn1634495346oslif1634495346@hcra1634495346eser1634495346.


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