Summer Internship with STIPEND – Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, Washington, DC

Our team is seeking a currently enrolled student of archival studies from an accredited program listed in the Society of American Archivists to intern with the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative for the summer of 2020. This internship will involve reviewing and preparing files related to the creation, history, and work of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) in preparation for the material’s transfer to the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA). 

Founded in 1995, HENTF was co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the private nonprofit Heritage Preservation until Heritage Preservation was dissolved in June 2015. During those two decades, under the leadership of Heritage Preservation, HENTF exemplified the very best in public-private partnerships to ensure that museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and the public at large have the tools and resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In 2015, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI) became co-sponsor with FEMA of HENTF, and the Task Force continues to work with its membership of nearly 60 national service organizations and federal agencies to address cultural heritage concerns across all five FEMA mission areas – prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. 

Guided and supervised by staff from SCRI, SIA, and FEMA, this internship provides an opportunity to learn about the history of domestic cultural heritage emergency management at the national level as well as all facets of current cultural heritage emergency projects under the mission of SCRI and HENTF. The specific duties of this internship include: 

  • processing an estimated 22.5 cubic feet of archival material according to SIA guidelines (inventorying, arranging, boxing, and preparing a folder list); and 
  • researching and preparing a brief history of HENTF and providing this supplemental material to SIA. 

Depending on the potential intern’s level of interest and availability, the internship may also include the additional duties: 

  • Assisting the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative team in the planning and execution of the 2020 annual meeting of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force membership; 
  • Assisting the HENTF Administrator with organizing various communication lists; 
  • Writing various communication briefings about SCRI programs for multiple audiences (e.g., blog posts, memos, executive summaries) for distribution on various platforms (e.g., printed reports, social media, and online); and 
  • Assisting the SCRI Training Program Manager and Project Associate with ongoing training projects. 

By the conclusion of this internship, the intern will have experience processing and describing an archival collection in preparation for potential accessioning to a permanent repository. Additionally, the intern will have greater practical knowledge of the museum field when responding to crises involving heritage, as well as the roles that museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, have in the field of cultural heritage preservation. 

Proposed start date: June 1, 2020 Proposed end date: August 14, 2020 (11 weeks) Schedule: Part-time (24 hours per week) or Full-time (40 hours per week) Stipend: $4,200 – $7,000 (based on available hours) 

Previous archives and records processing experience is preferred but not required. Additionally, applicants should demonstrate an interest in understanding how cultural heritage is protected in the event of a disaster. 

All applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments system (SOLAA). Please visit, create an account, and search for “Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative – Training Program Internship” internship. When applying, please select “HENTF Archive 2020” in your program choices section. 

Application requirements: 

1) Current resume or CV. 2) Cover letter addressing the following points: 1) Experience with archival materials; 2) What you hope to accomplish through this internship, and how it would relate to your academic and career goals; 3) What about the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative in particular interests you and leads you to apply for this internship (2-page maximum). 3) Copy of transcript 4) One reference (information that you can input through SOLAA system) 

Applications are due by midnight on Sunday, March 29, 2020. Interviews with short-listed candidates will be conducted two weeks later. Selection will be made by mid-April 2020. 

For more information, please email 

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