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Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives (National Museum of Natural History) Virtual Internship | Career & Civic Engagement Center PARTNER Internship

Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives

(National Museum of Natural History)

2020 Summer Internship in Archival Reference and Outreach

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, April 19, 11:59PM ET

*Note: The summer internship with the Smithsonian NAA is being moved to a virtual, remote format. Projects and responsibilities will shift to accommodate a virtual format. *

This is a Career & Civic Engagement Center Partner Internship in collaboration with the Museum Studies Program at BMC.
 The selected students will participate in the Beyond Bryn Mawr Summer Internship Program.

Please apply by submitting a (1) resume and cover letter through this Handshake listing, and (2) completing the  Partner Internship Application form.

Name of Smithsonian Staff Supervisor(s): Katherine Crowe
Title of Smithsonian Staff Supervisor(s): Reference Archivist
Phone Number: 301-238-1310 Email Address:
Museum/Institute/Office: National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
Department/Division/Office: National Anthropological Archives, Department of Anthropology

Internship in Archival Reference and Outreach

Project Description
The National Anthropological Archives (NAA) is looking for an intern to support our reference and outreach program during summer 2020. This intern will work alongside archivists at the NAA and gain hands-on training and experience with the full spectrum of archival reference and outreach practices and work on projects to improve the accessibility and discoverability of materials. The intern will have the unique opportunity to explore the intersection of archives and museum anthropology and investigate the way that archival principles are adapted in real-world settings. We seek an intern whose interests include archival studies, anthropology, information science, visual anthropology, museology, material culture, Indigenous studies, Native American history, history of science, and/or cultural history.

The intern will work alongside archivists at the NAA and assist with a wide range of archival reference duties. This would include, but is not limited to, short shifts staffing the NAA reference desk, assisting researchers in the reading room, responding to remote research queries, assisting with the collection of visitor and usage statistics, and making copies for researchers.

The intern will also have the opportunity to propose and work on self-directed projects to improve accessibility and discoverability of materials. They will be able to tailor projects to their own learning objectives and interests. For example, a few potential projects could be creating more subject guides for Indigenous communities represented in our collections, planning a social media campaign to highlight collections related to a specific theme, or improving the organization of the reference library in the NAA reading room.

The intern will also assist with ongoing outreach efforts as well as planning and preparing for upcoming public programming events at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). This could include assisting with tours for general and special interest groups, drafting social media content (Facebook and Twitter), writing blog articles, assisting with programming and blogs for the Documenting Diversity exhibit, assisting with Wikipedia initiatives, and assisting with planning activities for public programming in the NMNH Q?rius, Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center.

Skills and Learning Objectives
The intern will gain practical experience in the archival reference process and will work on specific projects that improve the accessibility and discoverability of materials, thus improving the researcher experience. The intern will have the opportunity to tailor their internship to their own learning objectives as the NAA hosts a wide variety of researchers and houses a wide variety of collections with multiple media formats, levels of organization, and challenges from both preservation and access perspectives. 

Learning objectives:
To gain:
·      Experience in archival reference services
·      Improved written communication skills in both traditional and new media through communication with remote researchers, as well as the creation of public outreach materials including social media, blog articles, or subject guides, etc.
·      Experience with archival outreach and planning public programming events
·      Archival and scholarly research experience in an outreach context
·      Archival and object handling skills

About the Collections
The National Anthropological Archives (NAA, located in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology), collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world's cultures and the history of anthropology. Its collections represent the four fields of anthropology- ethnology, linguistics, archaeology, and biological anthropology- and include fieldnotes, journals, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, maps, sound recordings, film and video created by Smithsonian anthropologists, other preeminent scholars, and Indigenous peoples from around the world.

The Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA), part of the NAA, is devoted to preserving, documenting, and providing access to anthropological moving image materials. The Archives officially began its mission in 1975 when, as the National Anthropological Film Center, it initiated a program that both created and collected films of anthropological research interest. The archives promote the importance of moving image materials as an integral part of the anthropological record related to documentation and research. HSFA collections and resources support research on specific cultures, the development of ethnographic film, and the broad study of visual culture.