Archival Reference Internship, National Anthropological Archives

Internship in Archival Reference Services

Project Description:
The National Anthropological Archives is looking for a graduate student to support its reference and outreach program. The intern will gain hands-on training in archival and reference practices. Projects will involve staffing the reference desk, responding to remote research queries, and contributing to outreach efforts, as well as other ongoing projects to improve accessibility and discoverability of materials.

The National Anthropological Archives in the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology, collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world’s cultures and the history of anthropology. The collections include field notes, journals, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, maps, artwork, and sound recordings created by Smithsonian and non-Smithsonian anthropologists, Native peoples, and other scholars, scientists, and researchers. Created out of the merger of the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) and Department of Anthropology (DOA) in 1965, the NAA holds one of the world’s largest and richest archival collections related to North American archaeology and ethnography, indigenous artwork, and historical photographs. The Human Studies Film Archives merged with the NAA in 2017. Begun in 1975 as the National Anthropological Film Center, the audiovisual collection which includes some of the classics of visual anthropology, spans the history of filmmaking and documents all regions of the globe. Together with the NAA, these collections are an unparalleled archival resource for world cultures.

Applicants should be current students or recent graduates from an archives, library science, museum studies, or anthropology program. This position requires attention to detail, professionalism, and the ability to work independently. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 and proficiency in MS Word and Excel is also required. Preference is given to applicants with strong research, writing, organizational, and communication skills.

Learning Objectives:
The intern will gain experience in the archival reference process, from consulting with researchers to determine the material most likely to suit their needs, to serving this material and monitoring its use in the research room. Interns will work on specific projects that improve the accessibility and discoverability of materials, and thus improve the researcher experience.
The internship runs from January through May. Position is unpaid, part-time, with flexible work hours, but must take place between 9:00am-4:30pm, Tuesdays-Fridays.

The National Anthropological Archives is located in the Smithsonian’s Museum Support
Center in Suitland, MD. The center is a 15-minute walk from the Suitland Metro Station on the Green Line and is also accessible via free shuttle from the National Mall. Free parking is also available.

To Apply:
Interested students should provide a resume and a brief cover letter explaining their qualifications, reason for interest in the internship, and names of two references. Please assemble all materials into a single document and include your last name in the file name. Send the document as an attachment via email to Katherine Crowe at
Mentors and Contact Information:
Katherine Crowe, Reference Archivist
National Anthropological Archives
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Phone: 301-238-1310

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