PAID Summer Internship – Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives, Washington, DC

Project Description: The National Anthropological Archives (NAA) and Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA) is looking for a graduate student intern to support its reference and outreach program during summer 2020. This intern will work alongside archivists at the NAA and HSFA and gain hands-on training and experience with a wide variety of archival reference and outreach practices. 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. 

Projects will include short shifts staffing the NAA reference desk, assisting researchers in the film archives and NAA reading room, responding to remote research queries, assisting with the collection of visitor and usage statistics, and helping with ongoing projects to improve accessibility and discoverability of NAA collections. The intern will also have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing outreach efforts. This could include assisting with tours for general and special interest groups, drafting social media content (Facebook and Twitter), writing blog articles, assisting with Wikipedia initiatives, and assisting with planning activities for public programming in the NMNH Q?rius, Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center. 

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. 

This internship takes place during the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA), a program hosted by the Department of Anthropology to promote broader and more effective use of museum collections in anthropological research by providing graduate students with an immersive, four-week training program and research experience at the Smithsonian. As a result of the NAA’s involvement with SIMA, the intern will have a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of archives and museum anthropology and learn how professionals of both fields can assist and enhance each other’s pursuits. 

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, 

National Anthropological Archives National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution 

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. 

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 

The intern will have the opportunity to tailor projects to their own learning objectives and interests 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. 

Qualifications: 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. Experience working with A/V archival materials is preferred, but not required. 

Timetable: This 8 week internship runs from June 9 through July 31. Work schedule will be Tuesday through Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm (28 hours per week). 

Compensation: $3,000 stipend 

Location: 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 the 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 crowek@si.edu

Priority will be given to applications received by March 20. 

Mentors and Contact Information: Katherine Crowe, Reference Archivist National Anthropological Archives National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Phone: 301-238-1310 Email: CroweK@si.edu 

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