Monterey History and Art Association

Volunteer Opportunities

“sharing the histories and the diverse legacies of people, stories, and places that continue to shape Monterey


The story of the Monterey History and Art Association would not be complete without mention of the many hard-working enthusiastic volunteers.  Their dedication and generosity ensure that MHAA’s programs and activities thrive.

Our MHAA volunteers are an essential part of the fabric of our communities on the Monterey Peninsula. They are the backbone of MHAA; their hard work, dedication, and financial generosity toward advancing the traditions of historic preservation guide our organization.

Some are highly visible and have become “living traditions” in our community, sharing their historical knowledge and wisdom with hundreds of “locals” and visitors every year. They serve as knowledgeable docents, historical story tellers, and hosts in our permanently preserved historic buildings. Some are perennial volunteers welcoming and serving the public at our annual events such as Christmas in the Adobes and serving as barbeque staff and cooks at La Merienda, our annual celebration of the founding of the City of Monterey. Some commit their own time and money to preserve the priceless collection of books and art and rare documents at the Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library. And some of our volunteers, who continue to work faithfully out of the public view, donate their extraordinary technical expertise and their own personal funds to protect and preserve our invaluable works of California art, conserve our antique textiles, and catalogue and protect our expansive collection of historic maritime memorabilia.

Additionally, under close supervision, students from the Museum Studies program at CSUMB intern at MHAA.  They work on exhibition installation, website additions, and conservation of items from the costume collection.  Special volunteers have helped for years with unusual jobs, giving generously of their time and expertise to unique landscaping challenges and assorted carpentry work.

Every year, thousands of people visit our exhibits and attend our public programs. Gracious and knowledgeable volunteers greet them, answer their questions, and guide them to available research opportunities.  Working alongside our board of directors and consultants, MHAA volunteers carry on a tradition begun in 1931 by our Founders. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at mhaa.org1931@gmail.com.


Los Amigos De La Historia Del ARTE De Monterey is a non-profit auxiliary of the Monterey History and Art Association (MHAA).  Los Amigos members support Monterey History and Art Association by providing volunteers for events at Casa Serrano and providing docents on Saturday from 2 pm to 4 pm when the adobe is open to the public.  The docents provide a vital teaching role to help visitors learn about the beautifully maintained adobe, life in early Monterey, and the local artists whose works adorn the walls.  The furnishings are reminiscent of the time when Alta California was part of Mexico.  If you are interested in joining Los Amigos and becoming a Casa Serrano docent, please send an email to mhaa.org1931@gmail.com.


Volunteers at the Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library support visitors and researchers who are interested in learning about and using the resources at the Library.  The Library houses many unique and/or rare books and other historic artifacts.  The collection includes historic photos, Native American baskets, and personal papers and memorabilia from several historically important local families and leading citizens. The Library’s namesake, Mayo Hayes O’Donnell, a longtime newspaper columnist and local historian, bequeathed to the MHAA her archives and research materials, and these make up the core of the collection.  The Library also contains other important donated collections, including photographs, documents, and biographies from Amelie Elkinton, memorabilia from MHAA founding member and first President Colonel Roger Fitch, builder and adobe restorer J.C. Anthony, the collections of former Monterey Mayor Minnie Coyle, local historian and historic train enthusiast Elmer Lagorio, Judge Monty Hellam, educator Wayne Edwards, and many more that can be explored and studied by researchers and the public.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library, please visit our website to learn more and submit the Volunteer Application.