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2016 Professional Development Internships

S.I. Warren M. Robbins Library of African Art
S.I. Warren M. Robbins Library of African Art

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to offer five paid internship opportunities for the summer of 2016.  Projects topics are diverse and include art history research, collections assessment, educational program development and more. Applications are due January 15th, 2016. Full project descriptions, qualifications and application instructions may be found here:

Art Deco Lighting Research
Location: Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library (New York, NY)

This intern will collaborate with staff to research art deco lighting designs found in the library’s E.F. Caldwell Lighting collection ( The goal of the project is to uncover the diverse art deco patterns that Caldwell created for commercial, public, and residences through the country with a focus on major commissions in Chicago with the aim of producing an online resource in the future.  The intern will have the opportunity to investigate online display options and make recommendations based on the platforms and tools available, which may include social media and the Smithsonian Libraries blog.

Art Deco Trade Literature Research
Location: National Museum of American History Library (Washington, DC)

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.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Collections Assessment
Location: National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC)

Smithsonian Libraries seeks an enthusiastic, user-focused graduate student to support the continued development of a methodology for conducting a collections analysis of a consortial digital library. The focus of the assessment project is on the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL: The intern will collaborate with staff to utilize and evaluate the BHL collections assessment methodology developed in a pilot study by SI Librarians. This taxonomic and bibliographic analysis is intended to determine collection comprehensiveness for subject specialists using the BHL. The intern will help document this workflow, and provide suggestions for the further iterative development of the processes and/or tools developed for this purpose.

Freer and Sackler Galleries Libraries
Freer and Sackler Galleries Libraries

Connecting International Smithsonian Research
Location: Primarily the National Museum of Natural History, with some work in other locations on the National Mall (Washington, DC).

The Office of International Relations and the Smithsonian Libraries in conjunction with the Field Book Project propose a summer internship to assist in identifying past and current Smithsonian natural science research in countries with a population of under a million. Students will help to identify related research by utilizing Smithsonian Library resources, field documentation in NMNH and SIA previously identified and cataloged by Field Book Project, as well as pan institutional search tools to begin preparing a comprehensive resource list of: type and location of research, associated programming, researchers, publications, concise summaries of the research impact, and types of related resources.  This will involve potential review of publication data, grant data, and archival research.

Educational Programs and Resource Development
Location: National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC)

Intern will collaborate with the Smithsonian Libraries Education Specialist to identify and help develop new educational resources for a k-12 digital audience. This might include contextualizing images, applying common core standards, researching online educational experiences, developing program ideas, and assisting with and attending family programs.

Please see our webpage for additional information:

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