Here at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, our volunteers do some incredible work. In recognition of that, I’d like to highlight Marianne Green, a volunteer in the Digital Services Division. Marianne has been working hard to digitize and review documents, letters, and photographs requested by researchers, helping provide access to our collections all across the globe.
What is your background?
My background is in education, specifically English-language arts with technology integration. I have had the pleasure of teaching nationally and internationally for the past two decades. Nowadays—encouraged by my students—I am a curriculum designer, education writer, and online adjunct professor.
What brought you to the Smithsonian Institution Archives as a volunteer?
I am a native Washingtonian whose childhood centered around events at the Smithsonian. While I have been exploring how different educational institutions have been supporting classrooms, I wanted to give back some of my skills to this amazing place. I checked the volunteers site and contacted a few places; and Ricc Ferrante was the only one to call me back. We spoke about my educational and communications background over the phone. The rest is history!
What has been your favorite part of working here so far?
This question is not easy to answer because there are a few amazing parts —fun staff, digital skills, and ability to handle history. Okay, if I had to say one thing, it would be how dedicated the Archives is to digitizing materials for researchers. They set a high standard and it’s been amazing to learn about it.
What is the coolest or most interesting thing you have found or learned about at the Archives?
This question makes me laugh because there can be so many surprises in the Archives. I’m remembering a field book with some “colorful” doodling. However, there were two other items which amazed me. The first were letters to Senator Robert Kennedy from middle school students encouraging him to support the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum. Being a former classroom teacher, I thought how great to see that students’ correspondence is appreciated—and in the Archives. Smokey the Bear’s coloring book is the second memorable item. My mother always warned me that one day I will come across a Smithsonian display that will make me realize I’m literally part of history —it was her reaction to seeing a U.S. Navy Wave uniform similar to her own — this coloring book was that moment for me. Thanks Mom!
Has your impression of the Smithsonian changed since you began volunteering?
Yes, I love learning how universities and researchers use SIA materials in their own experiences. This experience has been amazing for me to continue to learn and explore even as a digital volunteer.
Want to join in the fun at the Archives? Learn more about how to intern or volunteer! You can also help transcribe materials from collections across the Smithsonian (including the Archvies!) online, at the Smithsonian Transcription Center.
- "Thank you, Volunteers!" by Effie Kapsalis, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- "Dependent on the Kindness of Strangers: Smithsonian Volunteers," by Pamela G. Henson, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives