Oral History Management Graduate Internship

The Archives’ Oral History Program began in 1958 and includes interviews with American artists, scholars, critics, collectors, dealers, supporters, and others involved in American art. Today, our recordings make up the world’s largest collection of oral histories on the subject of American art, allowing scholars to learn about the art world directly from the words of our nation’s most distinguished artists.

In this Oral History Management internship you will be immersed in what goes into the management of a longstanding and ongoing oral history program. All of our legacy interviews have been fully digitized for preservation and access. A major initiative is ingesting interview assets into our CIS and DAMS. All of our ongoing oral history interviews are recorded as digital audio or video files conducted by outside interviewers. All of our interviews are transcribed or captioned by a transcription company. There is an extensive review process of these documents before they are presented online. In addition to our ongoing initiatives, our backlog and legacy interviews are a high priority for finalization and access on the website.


  • Ingest interview assets (recordings, transcripts, captions, Audio Description files) into the Archives' CIS and the Institution's DAMS
  • Assist with completion of catalog records and choose subject terms using ArchivesSpace
  • Assist with reparative description of catalog records
  • Create metadata for digital files
  • Audit edit interview audio or video recordings
  • Reformat, review, and proofread transcripts
  • Conduct background research on subjects related to interviews 

Ideal Qualifications/Prerequisites: 

  • Coursework towards the completion of a Masters degree in Oral History, Public History, Library Science, or Archival Management
  • Interest in oral history interviews
  • Interest in art history
  • Interest in presenting audiovisual content online and Accessibility requirements for doing so (transcripts, captions, Audio Description)
  • Interest in digital preservation and file management
  • Interest in thinking through systems, processes, and workflows
  • Well organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to work independently

Learning Outcomes

  • Greater understanding of the planning and management of an oral history program
  • Skills in digital preservation and file management
  • Develop a better understanding of the challenges impacting the stewardship and preservation of oral history interviews
  • Insight into the Archives' policies, procedures, and workflow

Other details

  • All internships are accompanied by a $6,500 stipend, based on a full-time, ten-week schedule. Pro-rated stipends are available for part-time internships. 
  • On-site in Washington, D.C.; remote or hybrid options may be available.
  • Internships may be offered on a rolling basis; Summer deadline is firm.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Semester of Internship

Application Deadline


preceding October 1


February 25


June 1



Applicants must submit the following materials through the Smithsonian’s online internship application system (SOLAA, opens in new window), and choose the name of the specific internship program to which they are applying. 

  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.


Interested graduate students may contact Jennifer Snyder, Oral History Program Archivist, at SnyderJ@si.edu for more information.  

How to Apply

  • Interested candidates must apply through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments website.
  • Cover letter
  • Résumé detailing your educational background and work/volunteer experience
  • One reference
    Name and email address of a reference whom we will contact for a letter of recommendation. References should be able to speak to the applicant’s academic abilities, but personal recommendations will also be considered.

Visit the Smithsonian SOLAA System (solaa.si.edu) now

Photograph of an artist's easel side table with paints and other materials
Donating Papers

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.


Find out how to give your papers, records, recordings, or other primary source material to the Archives of American Art.

Karen Maynor, Photograph of Andy Warhol writing a note on vacuum cleaner at “Art in Process V” exhibition, 1972.
Support the Archives

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.