Interns/Fellows/Volunteers

 

Internships

Previously two separate entities, the Smithsonian Libraries and the Smithsonian Institution Archives have recently merged to become Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. Smithsonian Libraries and Archives plans to host paid, virtual internships starting in Summer 2021.  

The newly integrated internship program of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives will provide students in library, archival, information science and related disciplines a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with expert Libraries and Archives staff and other Smithsonian staff to acquire the latest skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience needed for today’s information and cultural heritage workplace.   

Note that all internships will be virtual/remote through Summer 2021. We will update program information for Fall 2021 and beyond when available.

Overview

The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives welcomes current or recent undergraduate and graduate students who wish to gain experience in archives or museum libraries. The Libraries and Archives is dedicated to building diversity in the library, archival and information science profession. Applicants from historically underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. 

Internships are typically eight weeks in length offered for spring, summer, and fall semesters. Part-time options, practicums and for-credit internships may be available. Opportunities vary and are based on available programs and projects. Please see “Programs & Projects” for complete information.  

Note that all internships will be virtual/remote through Summer 2021. We will update program information for Fall 2021 and beyond when available. 

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives does not award academic credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning. Contact your academic advisor for instructions on how to receive credit. 

Interns are responsible for securing their own housing and transportation. Many universities rent out dorm space during the summer to interns and the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships provides a guide for the DC areaThere is no parking specifically available for interns at the Smithsonian. Public transportation optionsincluding rail and bus, are located close to most internship sites. Interns do not receive transportation benefits. 

For general information about internship opportunities with other Smithsonian museums and research centers, please visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships  website.  

For all Smithsonian Libraries and Archives internship inquiries, please email  SLAintern@si.edu 

Programs and Projects 

50th Anniversary Program 
These paid, virtual opportunities will be available for Summer 2021. Internships are eight weeks in length but may be performed part-time of full-time. Exact appointment dates are flexible and dependent on the student and intern supervisor’s schedules. Please note preferred appointment dates in your application.   

Stipend levels are $600/week full-time or a rate of $15/hour for part-time. The application deadline is March 1, 2021.  

Please be sure to select your preferred project(s) in your application and address project-relevant interests, experience, and qualificationsSee “Application Instructions” for additional application details 

Advancement 
The intern will support the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ online donor engagement and stewardship by assisting with digital marketing, donor relations, and data management. The intern will draft and send donor correspondence, including creative acknowledgements and other pieces to cultivate and segment donors and prospects like an email welcome series and online donor survey. The intern will research and evaluate effective email and digital marketing practices and will implement knowledge gained. Building on the enhancements that have already been made to the Adopt-a-Book webpage, the intern will learn how to edit videos to be posted, help to gather testimonials, and craft a plan to further improve the page. The intern will also learn and apply good data management skills by assisting with work and updates in our email platform and donor database. Additionally, the intern will perform research to discover potential prospects for fundraising priorities.  

The intern will think creatively about engaging supporters, communicating effectively, and managing data. The intern will gain real world experience and skills in donor relations, digital marketing, and fundraising research and discovery. 

The ideal candidate will be an undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in libraries and archives as well as advancement, fundraising, marketing, etc. The candidate must have strong writing and communications skills. Interest in or experience with digital marketing and donor relations or customer service is a plus. 

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible.   

Born Digital Collections 
Through this project, the intern will learn how to extract metadata from the Archives born digital holdings management system, will analysis the data to develop a risk assessment profile, develop a preservation treatment plan for a selected object type, and perform preservation on holdings from an accession. The intern will gain firsthand knowledge and experience regarding the fragile nature of born digital holdings, their management needs and preservation strategies for long-term enduring access in a cultural heritage context. 

The ideal candidate for this project would be a graduate student enrolled in accredited Museum Studies, Library and Information Science, or Digital Curation program. Coursework in digital preservation/curation or experience working with digital collections preferred. 

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible.  

Cataloging 
The intern will work closely with the Head of Resource Description to learn about bias in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). This will involve a review of the current literature available about bias in LCSH, as well as training on navigating cataloging utilities like Classification Web; understanding how authority control works within library systems; and learning more about the role of cooperative cataloging standards and practices as administered by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). Over the course of the project, the intern will learn different methods and strategies for mitigating the effects of bias in LCSH, including how to create and maintain local headings; exploring and using established alternate thesauri; and how to research and propose changes to the existing LCSH system using the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO). 

This project will look closely at headings assigned to DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion) materials in our collection and will implement changes with the goal of making description more open, accurate, and inclusive. The intern will be able to assist with the work of researching and crafting subject proposals and/or adding new local headings to our catalogdepending on skill and experience. 

The ideal candidate would be a current Master of Library and Information Science student with an interest in cataloging and metadata strongly preferred; willing to train interns with no cataloging background if they have a demonstrated academic background or relevant experience in critical race theory plus one or more of the following areas: Black studies; Native American or Indigenous studies; or Latinx studies. 

This position will be part-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Approximately 20 hours per week. Dates flexible. 

Communications 
This intern will collaborate with the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives communications team on social media and public relations projects. The intern will work closely with the Outreach Librarian to evaluate current social media practices, create and organize social media content, and craft social media posts.  Working from a prepared list of potential subjects, the intern will learn how to research and develop stories for the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ blog and other outlets that highlight historically underrepresented groups and connect them to books and resources in our collections. The candidate will also work with Public Affairs to develop media lists and promotional marketing content for exhibitions and programs. The intern will have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to press kits and draft marketing text in anticipation of an upcoming exhibition. 

During this opportunity, the intern will learn how the Libraries and Archives shares its collections and programs with various audiences. The intern will sharpen their research and writing skills while crafting social media content and develop an understanding of PR/marketing for museum library exhibitions. Intern may also gain experience using Hootsuite as a content management tool and WordPress as a publishing tool. 

This position would be ideal for an undergraduate or graduate communicationsmarketing, English, or journalism student with a strong interest in history, libraries, or cultural heritage, or a Master of Library and Information Science candidate with a desire to gain knowledge in outreach and communications. Experience researching and creating social media content on history, art, or science topics and skill or interest in raising public awareness in a museum library setting is preferred. Candidate should show demonstrated interest in writing diverse stories and understand the importance of highlighting historically marginalized groups and figures.   

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible. 

Digital Curation 
The digital curation intern will contribute to the creation of digital resources and exhibitions about the history of Smithsonian women in science. They will research the history of women in science at the Smithsonian and help to manage a data set regarding the 500+ Smithsonian women in science in SI records. The intern will create 15-20 biographies of Smithsonian women in science to be posted on Smithsonian Institution Archives’ website, as well as complete research about how those women are currently represented (or not) in Smithsonian collections data to help drive current reparative descriptionmetadata efforts. The intern will use this research to draft a blog post, as well as contribute to plans for upcoming digital exhibitions about how Smithsonian women in science have fought to pursue their research. 

Through this project, an intern will gain applied archival and scholarly research experience, as well as experience developing public history projects, especially digital resources and exhibitions. In addition, they will have the opportunity to research and contribute to reparative descriptionmetadata projects to increase the discoverability of women in science in Smithsonian collections data. 

The ideal candidate would be either a junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student.  Excellent historical research and writing skills, a background in digital history or information science; or a background in the history of science and gender studies are desired.  

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Ideal dates: June 14th through August 6, 2021. 

Funding for the 50th Anniversary intern class was provided by the Secretary of the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian National Board. 

Practicum/Field Study Program 
Opportunities may be available on a case-by-case basis for students who wish to fulfill academic requirements for practicums or field studies. The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives does not provide a stipend for these projects and students must be enrolled in a program that will grant academic credit.  

We are currently updating this program. Please email SLAIntern@si.edu with specific inquiries.  

Kathryn Turner Diversity and Technology Internship Program 
This program is temporarily on hold.  
The Kathryn Turner Diversity and Technology Internship is a full-time, 10-week program that allows a student enrolled in a Historically Black College or University with a background in computer science to sharpen skills and gain real world experience in the largest museum library system in the world. 

The intern will learn and gain experience in a production environment with all the complexities it contains. The intern will have the opportunity to learn about working with diverse systems with legacy datasets and will also be able to collaborate side-by-side with experienced professionals. 

The ideal intern will be a junior or senior undergraduate computer science or information systems major with classroom experience in programming, and optionally databases. The student should be enrolled in, or have recently graduated from, a Historically Black College or University.  

Application Instructions

Eligibility
The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives will consider applicants who meet 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 six months 
  • has been accepted to an accredited college or university, which is scheduled to start within six months of the internship start date 

Instructions 
Applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments system (SOLAA). Applicants should select “Smithsonian Libraries and Archives” as the unit and the appropriate program and project. Please be sure to review individual program and project descriptions before submitting your application.  

The following items must be included and uploaded into the SOLAA system as part of your application: 

  • Essay of 500 to 1,000 words describing your learning objectivesqualifications, and career aspirations and how they relate to this internship  
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended 
  • CV/Resume 
  • Contacts for two professional or academic recommendations. (Candidate inputs names and emails into the SOLAA application system. References are automatically sent an electronic survey and have an opportunity to upload a traditional reference letter.)  

Deadlines 
Application deadline for 50th Anniversary Program is March 1st, 2021. Applicants will be updated of their status by late March.  

Summer: March 1st  2021 

Fall: Pending project availability. Please check back.  

Spring: Pending project availability. Please check back.