Internship Opportunities

The Special Collections & Archives Department welcomes applications from undergraduate and graduate students for semester-long internship opportunities. Ideal candidates for these internships should be students considering careers in librarianship, archives, conservation, museum studies, or historic preservation. The number of available internships in a given semester is dependent on the availability of appropriate projects and faculty supervisors. Preference will be given to graduate students currently in an accredited program.

About the Internships

  • Internships generally require a minimum of 8 weeks, minimum of 10 hours per week, in the department or what is required by your academic department.
  • Interns must be available to work during our regular hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • All internships are supervised by a member of the library faculty.
  • Learning objectives will be developed for each internship, based on student need.

Schedules will be created based on a case by case basis with each student (and their academic department or institution) and on the availability of the intern supervisor. All student interns will be provided an orientation to the ZSR Library and Special Collections & Archives, and possible additional training.

The Department does not offer stipends to interns. Academic credit for any internship must be arranged in advance with your academic institution/advisor and Special Collections & Archives.

General Qualifications

  • Ability to work well with public and staff, and as a team member
  • Good research skills and willingness to learn new skills
  • Enjoy working independently
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail and produce high-quality work
  • Proficiency in current office software
  • Ability to move boxes that weigh up to 40 lbs

Potential Projects

Manuscripts Processing

Interns gain hand-on experience in arrangement and description of manuscript and archival collections. This can include sorting and rehousing of materials; researching people, groups, or events relevant to a collection; and creating a DACS compliant finding aid using Archivists’ Toolkit software.

Collections Research

Interns do in-depth research on particular Special Collections & Archives subject collections or areas. Outcomes can include a collection analysis, a detailed description for the departmental website, or a research guide for students or other researchers.

Digital Projects

Interns use digital technologies to create and enhance electronic access to our collections. Potential projects include digitization of documents and images, creation of metadata for existing digital collections, research on copyright issues for archival and manuscript materials, or digitization of audio and video materials in a variety of formats. The intern may also work with the ZSR’s Digital Librarian.

Archival Transcription

Interns transcribe handwritten materials or oral history audiotapes using accepted standards and guidelines for historical transcription. Transcription projects can also involve research and scholarly annotation of the materials.

Reference & Instruction

Interns assist with the Special Collections & Archives reference desk, work with visiting researchers, and conduct research. Reference and Instruction interns may also address tour groups or lead informational class sessions in the department.


Interns learn the basics of archival repair of books and other paper materials, including stabilization, rehousing, and environmental monitoring.

Internship Evaluations

  • There will be regularly scheduled meetings with the library faculty supervisor
  • Written internship progress reports will be due prior to regularly scheduled meetings
  • Special Collections & Archives Internship Goals and Outcomes Report must be submitted to the library faculty supervisor

Application Instructions

Interested applicants should complete our online Internship Application. Application materials should be submitted a minimum of eight weeks before the requested starting date of the internship. All applicants for internships in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library will go through official processes in accordance with Human Resources Guidelines. After we receive your application, if we are able to host your internship, we will contact you to set up a mutually convenient time for an on-site interview.

For further information about archives internships, please see SAA’s Best Practices for Interns.