The Archives of American Art offers paid and unpaid internships year–round to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs who wish to gain professional experience in various fields including archival science, information management, museum studies, art administration, art history, and cultural studies. Interns are expected to commit to ten weeks at a full–time schedule.
Non–paid general internships are offered in the spring, summer, and fall terms to undergraduates who have not yet completed their degrees or who have graduated within the past six months.
Graduate students should refer to the section on Internships for Graduate Students in Archival Studies.
Applicants will be asked to indicate their top three choices from the following program areas:
- Archival Arrangement, Preservation, and Description
Introductory–level archival processing and preservation work on the historical papers of artists or records of art galleries and arts organizations.
- Archives of American Art Journal
Interns working with Archives of American Art Journal staff have transcribed documents; selected images and prepared interview excerpts relevant to articles; developed and implemented marketing programs; and maintained the Journal’s mailing list. Part–time only.
Supports the work of the curatorial department. Past intern projects have included exhibitions research and writing; exhibition installation; and research for upcoming publications.
- Development/External Affairs
Supports the work of the development and external affairs office. Projects include, but are not limited to, prospect research related to individuals and foundations, donor correspondence, assignments associated with our annual Benefit Gala, and database entry. Opportunities are available at our offices in Washington, DC and New York, NY. Please indicate the location to which you are applying.
- Digital Projects
Supports digitization initiatives to increase access to collections via the web and new media. Possible assignments include scanning and digital curation; preparing descriptive, technical and other metadata; researching standards and best practices; preparing documentation; testing digitization workflows; assisting with design and user experience research, web development; and new media special projects such as a collaborating with Wikipedia.
- Oral History
The Archives has ongoing grant–funded projects to interview America’s leading artists and art dealers. Intern tasks may include editing interviews; assisting with the preliminary description of interviews; fact checking; and assisting with the production of progress reports and related exhibitions or accessions.
Assists reference staff in responding to public inquiries, including conducting research and composing replies; preparing box lists for collections; and assisting with special projects.
Internships with stipends
- Archives of American Art Horowitz–Fraad Minority Internships (undergraduate or graduate level)
Through the generosity of two long–time supporters of the Archives, 2013 summer internships with a stipend of $5,000 are available for minority candidates. The stipend is based on a full–time, ten week schedule. Applicants who will receive course credit for the internship are not eligible for stipends.
- Windgate Museum Internship in Craft administered by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (undergraduate or graduate level)
The 2013 Windgate Museum Intern will contribute to a digital exhibition that tells the story of studio craft in the United States through primary source materials. This internship includes a stipend of $5,000 and has its own distinct application deadline of March 31, 2013. The intern will conduct extensive research in our craft-focused collections and oral history interviews (see details: Windgate Museum Student Internship Grant 2013)
- Archival Audiovisual Media Studies (graduate level only; see the full description below under Internships for Graduate Students in Archival Studies)
How to apply to an Unpaid, Horowitz–Fraad, or Windgate Internships
Applicants for the unpaid, Horowitz–Fraad, or Windgate internships must submit the following materials through the Smithsonian’s online internship application system, and choose the name of the specific internship program to which they are applying.
Applicants interested in the Horowitz–Fraad internship will be asked during the application process if they also wish to also be considered for an unpaid internship. Please do not submit two separate applications to both the Horowitz–Fraad internship and the general (unpaid) programs.
- Cover letter
- Résumé detailing your educational background and work/volunteer experience
- Unofficial academic transcript
- Names and email addresses of two references, preferably those who can assess the applicant’s academic abilities but personal recommendations will also be considered
- Applicants to the Horowitz-Fraad minority internship are additionally asked to submit a brief personal essay about how an internship at the Archives of American Art will advance their career/academic goals
- Applicants to the Windgate Museum internship are additionally asked to submit a brief personal essay about how an internship at the Archives of American Art will advance their career/academic goals in the field of craft
Semester of Internship
October 1, 2012
February 25, 2013
June 1, 2013
*Applications for most Internships for Graduate Students in Archival Studies are accepted throughout the year, however, the paid Archival Audiovisual Media Studies internship for graduate students must be submitted between January 1 - February 15 of 2013 and 2014 for the summer/fall term.
Applications for the Windgate Museum Internship have an extended application deadline of March 31, 2013.
Submit all application materials through the Smithsonian’s online internship application system.
For more information on non–paid internships, Horowitz–Fraad, or Windgate internships, contact Marisa Bourgoin at email@example.com.
- General Archival Studies
General internships are offered on a limited basis to graduate students in advanced archival tracks and programs. A professional and focused experience in archival work may be structured around processing and preservation of archival collections, cataloging and archival descriptive practices and standards including EAD (Encoded Archival Description), and digital collections access projects. Course credit can be earned with the approval of the intern’s academic institution. Graduate interns work under the supervision and guidance of senior archivists in either Collections Processing or Digital Initiatives.
- Archival Audiovisual Media Studies
The Archives is seeking graduate interns for a multi–year project funded by the CLIR (Council of Library and Information Resources) Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant program. Applicants must be students or recent graduates of graduate archival programs who have an interest in audiovisual media, or students or recent graduates of specialized graduate programs in audiovisual archives and preservation with an interest in working in a traditional manuscript repository setting. Interns will receive a small stipend.
- Archival Legacy Finding Aid EAD (Encoded Archival Description) Conversion
The Smithsonian archival units are seeking graduate interns currently or recently enrolled in advanced tracks and programs to assist with a Smithsonian–wide archival project to convert legacy archival finding aids to the EAD format using Archivists Toolkit software and database. Participating units include the National Air and Space Museum Archives, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Archives of American Art, Archives Center at the National Museum of American History, Freer Sackler Gallery Archives, National Anthropological Archives, National Museum of American Indian Archives, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, and the Archives of American Gardens. This is an opportunity to gain in–depth experience with archival descriptive standards and best practices, the EAD format, and EAD authoring software and systems, while working with some of the most interesting and diverse archival collections in the United States.
How to apply to Graduate Student Internships in Archival Studies
Graduate student applications for the Audiovisual Media Studies internship will be accepted between January 1 and February 15, 2013 for the summer 2013 internship. Graduate students interested in the Audiovisual Media Studies internship may contact AV Archivist Megan McShea at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Graduate students interested in applying for Archival Studies Internships should contact Erin Kinhart, Senior Processing Archivist at email@example.com to discuss their current program of study and requirements and how to apply. Graduate student applications for Archival Studies Internships are accepted throughout the year.
Volunteers provide valuable assistance to the staff of the Archives of American Art through a variety of activities, including the transcription of interviews, letters and diaries; organizing and storing archival records; providing research support for curatorial staff; and responding to public inquiries.
Volunteers should have an interest in American history, art history, or archival management, and should be able to spend at least four hours a week on assigned tasks. Volunteers at the Archives of American Art are part of the Behind–the–Scenes Volunteer Program of the Smithsonian Institution.
For information regarding Volunteer opportunities, e–mail the Smithsonian Visitor Information and Associates’ Reception Center (VIARC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postdoctoral, Senior, Pre–doctoral, and Graduate Student Fellowships are offered through the Office of Fellowships, Smithsonian Institution. These in–residence appointments for research and study using the facilities and collections of the Archives of American Art, and the advice and guidance of staff members, are awarded for periods of 3 to 12 months. Stipends are available.
Application forms and detailed information about Fellowships should be obtained by consulting the Opportunities for Research and Study publication. You may also contact the Office of Fellowships at email@example.com.