Preserving the past and sharing it with others is an important part of the San Diego Electric Railway Association and the National City Depot Museum. Through the efforts of our volunteers, we are making progress but there is still so much to do.
How can you help as a volunteer? Here are several areas that we need your energy, time, and talents:
A museum needs knowledable docents to tell the story. In our case, the story is of how the coming of the railroad helped National City become what it is today. We also have the story of streetcars and the general history of rails in San Diego. Our docents have access to materials to learn about these stories so they can, in turn, share it with our visitors.
Our Depot is open Saturdays an Sundays and we have split the time commitment down to 4 hours each day - 3 hours while we are open and opening or closing duties. Some of our docents will take a full day shift or find a single shift once a month is all their schedule allows. The Depot also hosts occasional field trips and need docents during the week and always needs staff to assist. We prefer to have more than one docent at the Depot to make sure we can spend the right amount of time with our visitors. Often, there is a "3-Railer" around to run the model trains - though we need more of those as well!
If you are interested, contact our Docent Coordinator at
There is always something to do around a museum and with vintage items, there is usually few parts to buy. Some of the items in our collection are scratch-built like the VW Streetcar-On-Wheels. Others, like Car 54, are more than a hundred years old. Anything done on these items needs a careful, loving touch.
We have several projects that NEED someone with very specific skills. Here are a few examples:
As a fairly small non-profit, we know we can't rely on membership dues or generous donations for some of our larger projects. Grant income is critical to the growth of museums. We are looking submit proposals for several projects in the next budget cycle and need an experienced writer.
This is like everything we do; there are new things to be done and other things to just maintain.
A vast number of historical documents and photographs require scanning, cataloging, and filing. Specialists and workers needed here. We use Omeka for our Collection Management so any experience with this would be great!
Visitors will only come if they know about our Museum.
Projects require leadership to succeed. Our Executive team and Board of Directors is part of the leadership of this organization but we also need leadership for each of our key projects.
If you are interested or know someone that would like to put their skills to a good use and help preserve history, contact us at
SDERA needs your help! We have several projects that will improve our collection or help keep time from doing what it does best. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers with skills in the following areas:
Contact us at