Smithsonian Libraries Summer 2017 Professional Development Internships, USA

Publish Date: Jan 27, 2017

Deadline: Jan 29, 2017

Summer 2017 Professional Development Internships

Summer 2017 Professional Development Internships

Paid internship opportunities at the Smithsonian Libraries are designed for current graduate students in library or information science or related fields (depending on the project) who are interested in working in research and/or museum libraries. Solid research, analytical, computer and writing skills are desired. The number of selected interns may vary, depending on funding and available projects. This year, applicants may select from three projects, detailed below. Please review each project listing thoroughly and note the geographic location. Applications are due January 29th, 2017.

Please see our main internship page for additional information. Opportunities for our general internship program (open to undergraduates and part-time interns) will be announced in February 2017.

Art Deco Trade Literature Research

Location: National Museum of American History Library (Washington, DC)

This project is ideal for a student pursuing a Masters in Decorative Arts, Art History, Library and Information Science and/or a Master's degree in American business or social history with strong research and writing skills. Preference will be granted to candidates with experience researching trade literature and/or world's fairs materials and/or experience researching and/or writing about topics in American history. An ability to create excel spreadsheets is necessary.

The NMAH Library contains one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of trade literature in the country as well as a significant collection of world's fairs materials; all of which contain large numbers of items from the Art Deco period that describe buildings, ornamentation, fashion, and other areas of American life at that time. The Intern will learn to assess the trade literature and world's fairs collections and identify materials in both collections that address the Art Deco period in Chicago, Illinois. The intern will develop an excel spreadsheet to collect the information needed to document the materials available. This information will be used to develop a plan to digitize the materials identified as a discrete digital collection mounted on SIL's website.

Intern will have the opportunity to refine research, writing, and communications skills for specific outreach strategies and audiences. He or she will also develop skills to perform analysis of the value of materials in the trade literature and world's fairs collections for researching the Art Deco period in American history and in Chicago.

Educational Programs and Evaluation

Location: National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC)

This internship would most benefit a Masters candidate in the following fields: Library and Information Science, Education, Museum Education, Art History, History. Students with some experience developing and assessing educational resources are encouraged to apply.

Intern will collaborate with the Smithsonian Libraries Education Specialist to evaluate educational resource, I See Wonder. The intern will gain experience developing evaluation models, capturing data, interviewing users, synthesizing evaluation feedback, working with teachers and students, and adjusting I See Wonder to best represent the needs of the users.

The intern will gain hands-on practical experience within the library and museum education fields and will contribute to original educational content for a national source. The intern will have the opportunity to develop and execute evaluation model, apply findings to enhance education resources and strengthen knowledge of museum and library working environment.

Special Collections

Location: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology (Washington, DC)

This internship would most benefit a Master of Library and Information Science student, particularly one with experience with historical materials or archival experience, attention to detail; some familiarity with foreign languages.

This internship will focus on the pre-processing of the Dibner Manuscript Collection for digitization. Intern will learn to evaluate, document and organize materials them as part of a digitization project. In addition to working with this extremely valuable material, the intern will participate in the day-to-day operations of Special Collections. He or she may have the opportunity to assist with tours and displays as well as packing and shipping, performing basic historical research for reference inquiries and several other interesting duties.

During the course of this internship, a student would learn more about the history of writing and the book, general history, and the history of science and technology. In addition, he or she would gain experience with tasks related to research services and collection management in special collections.

Additional Professional Development Internship Information:

This paid internship program is open to United States citizens (or permanent residents) who are currently enrolled in an advanced (masters) library degree or related program, depending on project, from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or those who have graduated in the past six months.

Application Materials

1) Application
2) Resume detailing your experience, career interests and internship goals
3) Unofficial Academic Transcripts from all college/universities attended
4) Academic Essay: Two pages describing how academic goals, qualifications and career aspirations relate to the internship at the Smithsonian Libraries
5) Two letters of professional or academic recommendation (e.g., professors, past employers, supervisors).

All applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system. Applicants should be sure to choose "Smithsonian Institution Libraries" as the unit, "Smithsonian Institution Libraries Professional Development Internship" as the program, and then select the two projects that most interest them.

Selection Criteria

1) At least a 3.0 GPA in the major (as verified by the submission of academic transcripts)
2) Demonstrated interest in the research and museological activities of the Smithsonian Institution and work of Smithsonian Libraries
3) Demonstrated knowledge or coursework related to Smithsonian areas of interest; solid writing, analytical, and computer skills are mandatory.
4) Suitable Smithsonian Libraries' projects for members of applicant pool.


Interns may receive up to $500 per week, which is awarded to the student as a stipend. Internships are full time (35 hours per week) for six weeks. Interns are not eligible for Smithsonian or Federal transportation benefits.


Applications close January 29th, 2017. Applicants should expect to be notified of selection status in mid-February. Professional Development internships are performed for six full weeks during the summer. Internships typically begin in early June, though exact dates are flexible, depending on project and supervisor.

Further inquiries about Smithsonian Libraries Internships should be directed to:
Erin Clements Rushing (

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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Eligible Countries

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