Audio Visual Internship

A professional and focused experience in collection management and processing tasks associated with archival sound and moving image materials found throughout the Archives’ collections. Tasks may include digitization, surveying audiovisual media in new accessions, improving housing and storage, metadata maintenance and improvement, and arrangement and description of audiovisual archival collections. Interns may be trained in media inspection, handling, using obsolete playback equipment, and archival arrangement and description, and software systems such as ArchivesSpace, audio and video digitization software, collection information systems used at AAA and SI, and standalone media survey and assessment tools. Applicants with a demonstrated interest in working with archival audiovisual media will be given preference.


  • Cataloging collections and updating finding aids using ArchivesSpace
  • Surveying audiovisual accessions and collections
  • Digitization of videotapes, cassettes, and open reels
  • Creating metadata for digital records
  • Preservation activities including cleaning and re-housing of audiovisual materials

Learning Outcomes

  • Obtain experience working in a professional archival setting
  • Learn the day-to-day operations of managing audiovisual collections
  • Recognize and handle audiovisual materials according to best practices
  • Develop a better understanding of the challenges impacting the stewardship and preservation of audiovisual materials

Ideal Qualifications/Prerequisites

The intern must currently be enrolled in a graduate program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation, Library Science and Information Sciences with a focus on audiovisual preservation or a similar degree with the focus of audiovisual preservation or digitization. Knowledge of audiovisual software and equipment and ArchiveSpace software is preferred but not essential. 

Other details

  • On-site only
  • Internship will be offered in the Spring and Summer

How to Apply

  1. Cover letter

  2. Résumé detailing your educational background and work/volunteer experience

  3. One reference: Name and email address of one reference whom we will contact for a letter of recommendation. Reference should be able to speak to the applicant’s academic abilities, but personal recommendations will also be considered.

All internship application packages must be submitted through Smithsonian’s online internship application system (SOLAA, opens in new window).

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The Archives of American Art collects primary source materials—original letters, writings, preliminary sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, financial records and the like—that have significant research value for the study of art in America.


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Your support of the Archives of American Art helps us achieve our mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America.