Suitland, MD: Paid Internship in Archival Reference Services, National Anthropological Archives

Job Opening Title: Internship in Archival Reference Services

Employer Name: National Anthropological Archives

Job Location: Suitland, MD

Application Deadline: April 19, 2019

Link to job posting:

Years of experience required:

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: 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 2019. This intern will gain hands-on training in archival reference and outreach practices. Projects will include staffing the NAA reference desk, assisting researchers in the film archives, responding to remote research queries, contributing to outreach efforts, and helping with ongoing projects to improve accessibility and discoverability of NAA collections.

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.

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 archeology and ethnography, indigenous artwork, and historical photographs.

Begun in 1975 as the National Anthropological Film Center, the audiovisual collection of the Human Studies Film Archives, which includes some of the classics of visual anthropology, spans the history of filmmaking and documents all regions of the globe. The Human Studies Film Archives merged with the National Anthropological Archives in 2017 and together with the NAA, these collections are an unparalleled archival resource for world cultures.

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. They will investigate the ways that archival principles (including questions of access versus preservation) are applied and adapted in real-world settings and will have the opportunity to explore the intersection of archives and museum anthropology. The intern will have the opportunity to tailor projects 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.

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.

This 8 week internship runs from June 4 through July 26. Work schedule will be Tuesday though Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm (30 hours per week).

$3,000 stipend

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

Priority will be given to applications received by April 19.

Mentors and Contact Information:
Katherine Crowe, Reference Archivist
National Anthropological Archives
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Phone: 301-238-1310