DigiVol Lab

DigiVol volunteers in the lab capture images of museum objects and their labels for upload to the DigiVol website for transcription.

DigiVol Lab volunteers

DigiVol Lab volunteers
Photographer:  © Australian Museum

DigiVol volunteers complement the work of Museum Collections staff and research scientists by capturing images of specimens, objects and archival materials and then recording label data into digital form. This data is then transcribed and validated by online volunteers before being imported to the Museum data base and made available on some scientific websites. This work helps us to better understand, manage and conserve our precious biodiversity.

There are two types of volunteers in the DigiVol project: onsite lab volunteers and online volunteers.

Volunteers in the lab reflect a broad diversity of mainstream society but all share a passion for working in a museum environment. Many of these volunteers have helped to build our DigiVol community by drawing on their comprehensive knowledge and skills in photography, producing videos, data bases, computers and guideline documentation.

Some innovative examples of volunteers helping to build our DigiVol community include:
• creating and producing a DigiVol YouTube video for volunteers;
• photos of volunteers wearing their DigiVol T shirts away from the lab which are displayed on the ‘Where in the World is DigiVol’ wall in the lab;

The digitisation lab operates each day from Monday through to Friday from 9.30am - 3.00 pm. Volunteers make a weekly volunteering commitment on the same day and do not receive any financial remuneration.
A half day volunteer induction session and ongoing training is provided in specimen handling and imaging specimens. You can register your interest in becoming a DigiVol volunteer. As a DigiVol volunteer, you will not only gain valuable training, but be part of a social network where you will meet and work with other volunteers, museum staff and scientists.

Some of the additional benefits in volunteering with us include:
• ‘Behind the scenes’ tours and talks organised with Collection staff as a ‘thank you’ to volunteers.
• A 3 year and 5 year DigiVol Certificate of Appreciation awards morning tea for volunteers. Collection Managers were our guest of honours at the National Volunteer Week morning teas.
• Theatre, dinners, lunches, holiday photo ‘show and tell”, information exchange and chat over morning tea

Click here to register your expression of interest to volunteer in the lab with us. We find volunteers demonstrate and meet the following criteria:
• a respect and interest for natural history collections and archival material.
• an aptitude for handling specimens which requires good attention to detail and fine motor skills
• an interest in learning new skills to handle specimens and archival material
• a respect and interest in working cooperatively with other volunteers and being supportive of their contributions
Your expression of interest will be acknowledged and you will be contacted again when a vacancy occurs and invited to an induction session in the DigiVol lab to find out more about volunteering with us.


Rhiannon Stephens , Digitisation Project Officer
Last Updated: