Birthplace of Sound Film looking for volunteers to tell expanded story of the historic space


Calling all history buffs and storytellers! The Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, New York, is looking for an assortment of passionate volunteers and engaging storytellers to help revitalize the tour of the historic Case Research Laboratory. For decades, the Laboratory tour has remained one of the most popular experiences for visitors to the Cayuga Museum. The former greenhouse, transformed into a 1920s lab, immediately immerses audiences in the bustling time period as inventor Theodore Case and his team of scientists, laboratorians, glassblowers, and machinists worked to be the first to bring sound-on-film technology to the world. 

With the tour remaining largely unchanged in nearly 30 years of operation, the Cayuga Museum last year hired Haley Boothe as Curator of the Case Research Lab to explore new research and write a more expansive and inclusive story about the remarkable space. That vision will now be possible with the help of a team of dedicated docents!

In a press release, the Cayuga Museum described the docent position: “Docents will conduct guided tours of the Case Research Laboratory for visitors. The docent will be required to memorize information regarding the Lab and individuals who were employed there. Docents will answer general visitor questions about the Lab and the Cayuga Museum. Additional projects such as transcription may be provided during down time between tours. Requires moderate physical activity. Docents must be physically able to stand, walk, and speak for hour-long periods of time. Climbing stairs is a necessary part of this role. Occasional lifting of supplies and materials less than 40 pounds.”

Docents are expected to be available for at least two hours per week, and will receive benefits including a free copy of Breaking the Silence on Film and a free membership to the Cayuga Museum after a certain number of hours worked! Applications are due by Wednesday, March 15 and the Museum expects to have a trained team of docents by the Case Research Lab’s public reopening on April 1. Those interested in learning more about the volunteer position can review the formal description and apply on the Cayuga Museum website at

The Cayuga Museum is located at 203 Genesee St. on the corners of Washington and Genesee St. in Auburn, NY. Free parking is available in the lot behind the Museum or on Genesee St.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *