Each year, the Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes dozens of undergraduate and graduate students who wish to learn more about various aspects of archival, preservation, and conservation work. Internships are offered throughout the year, and internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis for spring, summer, and fall positions. Consult the Smithsonian Internship website for general information on the Institution’s internships. Internships can vary in length and are offered in a wide variety of activities such as:

  • archival arrangement and description;
  • conservation and preservation of paper, photographs, audio and video recordings, and electronic records;
  • digital preservation and curation;
  • researching  and writing institutional history;
  • creating oral and video history;
  • use of the web, new media, and social media for cultural heritage organizations.

Application Instructions

Internship applications are accepted for spring (deadline: November 1), summer (deadline: March 15), and fall (deadline: July 1) semesters. Applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA). Please note, the following items must be included and uploaded into the SOLAA system as part of your application:

  1. Essay of 500 to 1,000 words describing your learning objectives
  2. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  3. Two letters of reference
  4. Resume (cover letter optional)


Applications will only be considered if the potential intern meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • is currently enrolled in an academic program at an accredited college or university
  • has graduated from an accredited college or university within the past 6 months
  • has been accepted to an accredited college or university, which is scheduled to start within 6 months of the internship start date

For further information regarding Archives internships, contact:

Internship Coordinator
Smithsonian Institution Archives
PO Box 37012    MRC 507
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Telephone - 202.633.5870
Email -


Graduate and post-graduate students are eligible for a limited number of fellowships in the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Many fellows have come to the Archives to use the collections for in-depth research on a wide variety of topics, from the history of science in America to the evolution of zoo keeping practices. The Institutional History staff serve as mentors and advisors for hosts of researchers, and continue to attract high-quality scholars from around the world.

Preservation fellows have found the Archives to be an exceptional place to further studies in paper and photographic preservation and conservation. With state of the art laboratories at their disposal, and a wide variety of types of materials to work with, fellows in this area enjoy mentoring and guidance from the experts on staff.

For further information on how to apply for a fellowship position with the Archives, visit the Office of Fellowships website. Applications are competitive and will be judged on the merits of the proposed research and how well they match the resources available in the Archives.

For further information on fellowships contact:

Office of Fellowships
Smithsonian Institution
470 L'Enfant Plaza SW Suite 7102
MRC 902 PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
phone: 202.633.7070
fax: 202.633.7069


Several very important people help the Archives each year by volunteering their time and energy to help accomplish a wide variety of archival projects. Volunteers range from recent graduates to retired individuals wishing to learn new skills, or to apply their well-developed skills in preserving the historical records of the Smithsonian Institution. Their generosity is remarkable and they bring to the workplace an added degree of diversity and experience.

Projects that are currently underway include:

  • Photographic restoration
  • Paper preservation and conservation
  • Digital preservation
  • Organizing and cataloging archival collections
  • Digitizing original documents and photographs
  • Preparing entries on the history of the Smithsonian for an online chronology and bibliography

If you are interested in working as a volunteer in the Archives, please visit the Smithsonian Volunteer website for further program and contact information.