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Volunteer Docent Information

What is a Volunteer Docent?

A docent is someone who serves as a guide and educator in a museum. Docents are enthusiastic, creative, and enjoy sharing their knowledge and excitement about Detroit history with the public. They present engaging and interactive tours of the museums and serve as an interpretation guide for visitors. 

Detroit Historical Society Volunteer Docents

Docents at the Detroit Historical Society teach all of our adult and student groups. They offer tours of museum exhibitions at both the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Docents are the vital circuitry that connects the ideas hatched backstage to real, interpersonal experiences on the museum floor. 

Many of our docents have a background in education and American history, but those who do not tend to have a love for the City of Detroit and its history. Whether an enthusiast or an expert, all new docents receive training on the Society's artifacts, galleries, and research areas, as well as on techniques for conducting effective tours. Docent candidates must complete four shadowed tours, work one-on-one with the Manager of School Programs on exhibition content, and read our comprehensive exhibition interpretation manuals. Training of new docents takes about 4-6 weeks, depending on the docent's availability. Docents are also asked to maintain a commitment of 8 hours of time per month, at a minimum. 

Docents continue their education throughout their service by attending docent meetings, participating in study groups, attending gallery talks, and taking trips with fellow docents to regional museums and tours. 

For more information on docent opportunities, contact Kimmie Dobos Wolfe, Manager of Education Programs, at 313-833-1419 or kimmiew@detroithistorical.org. If you are interested in becoming a docent, please review the position description below and complete and submit the Docent application below.  We will be in touch with you within 48 hours to discuss next steps in the application process. 


Volunteer Docent Application enrollment is currently closed.




If you feel this is the volunteer opportunity for you, then be sure to follow these quick and easy steps to begin the docent volunteer application process!

  1. Complete and submit a DHS Docent Volunteer Application powered by Volgistics
  2. Download, complete and forward an Authorization for Background Check form to volunteer@detroithistorical.org
  3. Wait to be contacted by volunteer program staff for further information regarding next steps in the our docent volunteer application process (Don't worry, we'll be in touch within 72 hours!!).



If you are looking for short-term volunteer opportunities for community service, college extra credit or are a high school student interested in donating your time, please click on our Volunteer Information tab to learn more!

Please keep in mind that not all submitted applications will result in volunteer placement.