As well as the annual programme of lectures, visits and events, EDFAS contributes to the volunteer arms promoted, supervised and authorised by The Arts Society. We will gladly provide training to anyone interested.

Please contact Head of Volunteering Jen McDowell for more information:

0131 667 3436 volunteering@edfas.co.uk


For more than 40 years EDFAS has contributed to the preservation and conservation of our national and local heritage by carrying out projects in libraries, museums, art galleries and historic houses.


Volunteers create a unique guide aimed at encouraging children to engage with the architecture, history and furnishings of places of worship or historic buildings.


Volunteering during the 2021-2022 session has been unsuccessful: none of us has been able to work for yet another year. We have, however, kept in touch as best we could with regular meetings on Zoom and hope to get back to business in September.
The Museum of the Regiment of Scotland at the Castle has a new curator who is busy getting to grips with the job. By the end of the Summer, she will, we hope, have a clearer idea of how best we can help her, and the team are looking forward to hearing from her then. The Botanics library staff have been toiling away trying to dry out the collection after a disastrous flood, so the volunteering group has been unable to do any work there. Currently, the volunteers working individually have been stood down while the Herbarium staff review the work to be done by them. Volunteers at the Central Library hope to restart on 6th September but it looks as if they will have access to
the workroom only once a week, instead of twice. Most people are eager to get back to the job and a new rota will soon be worked out. It is pleasing to note that all the volunteers remain keen!

The team which volunteers at the Museum stores in Granton has been lucky to have short presentations via Zoom on current projects.
The conservators are working on a Bernat Klein exhibition which will open in Chamber Street in November. A well-known name in Scotland, his innovative colour choices for tweeds with brightly coloured velvet ribbons, and other fabrics made quite an impact during the 60s and 70s. He used a colour board with yarns twisted round bits of cardboard which he could move around to get the best colour combinations.

Each of these cards of yarns had to be
carefully cleaned of things like moth casings and spiders’
legs – a fiddly and very time-consuming job.
Surprising discoveries were made in some of the garments. For instance, tucked away in an underarm seam of a coat lining, an American Labour Union label was found. Research showed that the Bernat Klein fabric had been sent out to the US to be made up by a designer/maker there. The story behind this remains a mystery.

The one area of volunteering I should like to promote is Trails of Discovery. In addition to Church Trails for children, other Societies have started to produce trails in other places of worship, historic buildings and town trails.
Trails have also been produced for children with learning difficulties. Adults have not been left out. There are memory trails for those living with dementia, and a team in Edinburgh has started to explore this. Several other trails for adults have been created such as a Branch Line Trail from Plymouth to Gunnislake, a Farnham Craft Trail and a Sime Gallery Trail.


Scotland’s religious buildings are currently experiencing a period of change unseen since the mid-19th century. Several hundred of the country’s incredible and historic churches are earmarked for closure in the coming months and years.

With the support of Historic Environment Scotland, Scotland’s Churches Trust has re-launched its initiative to record the interior contents of as many of these churches as possible before these items are dispersed and lost forever.

Please watch their brief video below and do drop their director a line if you would like to volunteer a few hours to help record this important facet of multi-generational cultural heritage in your local area.