Tag Archives: Internships

An Internship Experience: Visual Resources

By A.M. LaVey

I spent 2020 in Belarus researching and writing my master’s dissertation on the topic of traditional textiles — specifically embroidery and ornament as codes of Belarusianness. I was in Belarus in August of that year, when protests began following the contested presidential elections. At the completion of my art history degree and my return to the states, I started a master’s in library and information studies at the University of Rhode Island, and am currently scheduled to graduate in December 2021.

This past summer, working with a Belarusian studies colleague, I was able to set up a professional field experience in visual information curation at the University of Michigan Fine Arts Library. I worked on a project that allowed me to use my combined subject librarianship skills in art and Slavic studies under the supervision of Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, Librarian for Art & Design. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I conducted this internship remotely.

My internship project, in cooperation with the Stamps School of Art and Design at University of Michigan, was to help develop a digital exhibition for the library that focused on social media, protest art, and textiles in the context of the ongoing unrest in Belarus.

A protester wears the White-red-white flag on Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 20, 2020. (Photo by Jana Shnipelson)

I had several objectives for this experience: employing information representation and retrieval standards for visual information; evaluating, gathering and synthesizing information; and using technology to design an innovative resource to communicate this information to a wide range of audiences. I met these objectives through curatorial and digital exhibition design research, training with new technologies and digital platforms, writing descriptions and developing metadata systems for visual resources, serving as the exhibition cataloguer and bibliographer, and liaising between the library and the curator.

As the exhibition cataloguer, I researched a variety of textiles objects that had been collected by the curator within five major categories: flags, costumes, masks, embroidery, and digital ornaments. I researched, developed, and executed a visual resource metadata standard for the exhibit utilizing Omeka content management system, Dublin Core Metadata Element Set and the Getty Vocabularies. For each of the 73 items, I filled out the catalog record with the necessary metadata and wrote a description for it.

After completing the catalog, I developed five separate bibliographies corresponding to the five categories. Starting with the University of Michigan Library collection, I curated informational resources in Belarusian, English, Polish and Russian.

I am grateful to have had this experience. It gave me an entry point into academic/art librarianship and gave me a taste of what to expect. Because of the pandemic, I was unable to visit the library in person — in fact, my preceptor is still working from home —and therefore I feel I did not get a super authentic experience. Still, it should be a helpful stepping stone into future professional employment.

In regards to practical library skills, I learned a lot about the function of library exhibitions and all that goes into curating them. I also got to put my theoretical classroom knowledge of visual resource description as it relates to visual information representation and retrieval into action.

The project is ongoing.

Thanks to the ARLIS/NA Wolfgang M. Freitag Internship Award, I was equitably compensated for my labor.

A.M. LaVey is a bibliographer specializing in Slavic and East European spaces and an MLIS candidate at the University of Rhode Island. Research interests include the intersection of information and textiles and the creative function of visual archives.

Note: Experiences, thoughts, and feelings shared on the ArLiSNAP blog are solely those of the featured author(s) and interviewees and do not represent the views of any employer.

Internship, Interrupted

By Freyja Catton

From February to April of this year, I was one of two interns sponsored by TD Bank at the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives (NGC). This was my dream job, as I have a background in Studio Art (BFA, University of Lethbridge, 2012) and am a graduate student of Library and Information Studies (MLIS, University of Alberta, 2021). In February, I took a three-month leave from my day job in Edmonton, Alberta, and flew out to Ottawa, Ontario. February 3 was my first day at the NGC. It was bright, sunny, and chilly outside. I walked over the hill and was greeted by Maman, the giant imposing spider sculpture outside the front entrance of the NGC. I couldn’t wait for this to feel normal- and to see Maman every day!

  My supervisor showed me my desk and where to go for work breaks (I could “just go in the Gallery” if I wanted!). My project the first week was to refer to a spreadsheet with exhibition catalog numbers and label all the exhibition records from 2005-2020. This was good preparation for our main project which would start the following week. It sounds mundane, but I had a blast getting to peek at all the ephemera and recognizing names I knew from school or from my connections in the Alberta art community!

  The other intern arrived on Monday and we were introduced to our main project: creating records for exhibitions from 2005-2020 in the NGC Library Catalogue. The NGC Archives separates their records into types: exhibition records, artist records, posters, ephemera, photos, and correspondence. Our task was to update the catalogue with 15 years’ worth of art exhibitions, so that researchers could look in the library catalogue and see past exhibitions of the NGC, as well as what documentation existed for each exhibition.

  Neither the other intern nor I had worked with cataloguing before, though the concepts were familiar. The cataloguer showed us how to create records according to the NGC Library standards. We learned the basics of the integrated library system Millennium, MARC21 coding, and how to find subject headings and name authorities in English and in French. The exhibition numbers came from the spreadsheet I used my first week, and we found information about the exhibitions from the NGC website and from the exhibition records. We split the work by odd and even numbered exhibitions, and worked at a steady pace to get a skeleton entry into the catalogue for each exhibition with whatever information we could find. Once we had a record for each exhibition, we added descriptions of materials to the record, which are stored separately by medium. The specific tasks  included: going through unprocessed exhibition clippings, invitations, posters, and digital photos, labelling and organizing these, and adding descriptions to the record. We also updated the call numbers for archival exhibition catalogues. 

As we worked on the project, other projects broke up the monotony: checking the Alex Colville drawing fonds to ensure all items were in order and accounted for, going through copies of paper finding aids from other institutions (circa 1980s-1990s), and checking online to see if those aids had been digitized onto the institution’s website. I had two archival description projects at item level. The first description project was describing items in the Art Metropole mail art collection. For the second project, I described artist ephemera from an art historian donor for appraisal. Due to the difficulty of generalizing that collection, I went through the ephemera and described them at the item level and put them into folders for storage. Once they were described in original order, I reorganized the folders alphabetically by artist and created a new file list to reflect the alphabetical order.

  The library assistant showed us how to make housing for items in the library and how to display books with book pillows and mounts. I assisted staff with other housekeeping tasks when they needed a hand, such as moving rare books to create room for new ones, moving files for processing, rehousing slides, checking photograph fonds, clearing paper jams in the photocopier, and adding to clipping folders.

  I was able to ask lots of questions and to observe archive tours in the space and volunteer work. As the work went on, I found I was developing a specialty within a specialty: my experience as a practicing artist meant I was good at contemporary art documentation. I knew how things were made which made it easier to describe them, and I knew who a lot of the practicing artists were (I kept stopping to show off and say “I’ve met them! I’ve seen this show!”). Considering that most of the staff came from the art history field, I felt I was able to fill in a knowledge gap that otherwise existed in the NGC’s Library and Archives.

  We also had the opportunity to visit other sites, which at the time was very hectic but in hindsight I am very grateful for. On February 26, we went on a tour at the Library and Archives of Canada Preservation Centre in Gatineau. We learned about their approach to risk management, building/facility design, and storage. I had taken both records management and archives management courses, and it was SO cool to see my readings in practice and observe what the ideal preservation centre looked like and how it was run.

  On February 28, we went to Montréal for the day. We wandered around the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) before our scheduled tours, and then I had a private tour in English to learn about contemporary art documentation at Artexte! Artexte is a documentation centre/archives for contemporary Canadian art. Artexte has open stacks and devised their own classification system. It was fascinating comparing their system to the organization system of the NGC’s Library and Archives. It was a whirlwind trip and it took me a few days to wind down after that!

  COVID-19 hit at the halfway point of the internship. On March 16, the Gallery shut down and asked everyone to work remotely from home. We were unable to describe physical items, but we were able to focus on digital holdings and records. We finished updating exhibition records by adding descriptions of digital photos, and we updated the call numbers of archival copies of exhibition catalogues in the library catalogue. We edited and created Wikipedia articles for the Gallery, assisted in and partook in four Edit-A-Thons (the first one was in person in February, the rest remote). Outside of the internship I was taking a graduate course on Archive Administration, and for my final paper I wrote about my internship and volunteer experiences to recommend possible best practices for preserving art exhibition documentation in artist run centres.

After a couple weeks of working in isolation, the other intern and I got spooked by the impending travel bans. We talked with our supervisor and arranged to leave Ottawa early. Everyone seemed on edge and my flights got rescheduled three times. I arrived home in Edmonton on April 8, two weeks before the end of my internship, with enough time to self-isolate before my leave of absence was up.

 After relocating, we continued to work remotely. We worked to update artist information for the Artists in Canada database, partook in the remaining Edit-A-Thons, and we worked on a new big project: researching digital repositories, methods of storage, and digital repositories for a future digital archive for the NGC Library and Archives. We emailed each other back and forth notes and questions about the software, and then sent summaries and pros/cons of each product to our supervisor. On April 24, my internship concluded. I sent out an email on my second-to last day to thank everyone for giving me such an amazing opportunity to work with people I had so much in common with. 

And that was it! I went in wondering what the heck I was doing, and I came out wondering what the heck happened. Despite the emotional whiplash of dream jobs and pandemics, I masked up and went back to work at my regular job the following Monday. 

  While it was unfortunate that our internship was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very grateful for my time spent at the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives. I loved my work and felt so supported! It was an amazing opportunity for me to network and get to know other professionals in the field who love their job, and to have a formal hands-on experience of how archives and art libraries work. I’m so grateful for the chance to develop my expertise in art archives and contemporary art documentation. I hope I will be able to do similar work someday in the future.

Though, I hope next time we won’t be disrupted by another pandemic!

Freyja Catton is a visual artist, author, emerging art information professional, and MLIS graduate student at the University of Alberta. They live in Treaty 7 territory in Canada with their long-term partner and two cats. More of their work can be found on their website at www.thewordeater.com.

Note: Experiences, thoughts, and feelings shared on the ArLiSNAP blog are solely those of the featured author(s) and interviewees and do not represent the views of any employer.

Job Opportunity: Paid Cataloging Intern, North Carolina Museum of Art

Site description: The Art Reference Library is a 45,000 volume non-circulating library that provides reference service to the art museum staff (curators, educators, conservators) and the public at large.  The library not only houses books and periodicals, but also holds an extensive auction catalog collection and an artists’ files collection of ephemera material.  We also provide online access to auction, bibliographic, and reference databases. (https://ncartmuseum.org/art/library/)

Dates of Internship: August 26, 2019-December 5, 2019, with potential for renewal in Spring 2020

Hours: Maximum 10 hours / week. Hours are flexible within a Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm work week, but the intern is expected to set and maintain a consistent schedule.

Compensation: $16.00 / hour

Application Deadline: August 12, 2019, with interviews to follow.


Under the supervision of the Librarian and the Library Assistant, the Cataloging Intern performs copy cataloging based on current standards.  The intern will also assist with other projects as needed.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Perform copy cataloging of library materials

Education and Experience:

  • Current enrollment in an accredited graduate information and library science program
  • Experience in copy cataloging and classification of library material Library of Congress (LC) subject headings, machine-readable cataloging (MARC) records, and RDA preferred
  • Experience with computerized cataloging databases

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles and procedures of professional library work including

methods, practices, and techniques of library copy cataloging and classification

  • Knowledge of computerized cataloging and bibliographic databases
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills – detailed-oriented
  • Ability to work independently
  • Interest in art history and/or museum experience

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • Work is performed in an office environment in the Art Reference Library
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position, needs to occasionally move about the library, and position self to retrieve books from lower shelves
  • Must be able to concentrate on detailed information over an extended period
  • Ability to effectively use a computer


Application Procedure: Please submit via e-mail, as a single .pdf, your résumé along with a single-page cover letter expressing your interest in this internship.  Please include contact information for at least one reference.


Send Application Materials to:

Natalia Lonchyna, Librarian
Email: natalia.lonchyna@ncdcr.gov

The North Carolina Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam-era veterans, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may contact Human Resources or call (919) 664-6894.

Internship opportunity: Paid Midwest Dance & Theatre Collections Intern, Newberry Library

Department: Maps and Modern Manuscripts

Summary: This 15 week internship is funded by a private donor. Working in the Department of Maps and Modern Manuscripts under the supervision of Newberry archivists, the Midwest Dance and Theater Collections Intern will participate in preserving, arranging, re-housing, and describing Chicago dance and theater archives and manuscript collections. This position is ideal for an individual intending to work with primary sources as part of an academic career, or exploring the possibilities of archival work.


Under the supervision of Newberry archivists, the intern will participate in the following archival activities:

  • Arrange and re-house materials in Chicago dance and theater collections according to archival practice.
  • Apply appropriate preservation treatments to collection materials. Treatments include, but are not limited to, surface cleaning, flattening, removal of fasteners, and photocopying.
  • Prepare detailed descriptive inventories for collections in a format compatible with the archival professional standard, Encoded Archival Description (EAD).
  • Participate in identifying analog audio-visual formats in the collections, preparing them for digitization, and creating metadata.


  • Graduate student in a master’s program in library and information sciences and/or public history with coursework in archival processing required;
  • Effective oral and written communication skills;
  • Experience working with primary sources;
  • Ability to work independently and in group settings;
  • Ability to shelve and lift archival boxes;
  • Familiarity with computer applications;
  • Academic focus on dance and theater history of Chicago and the Midwest preferred.

Schedule: 150 hours (typically 10 hours/per week for 15 weeks).

Dates: Fall semester, with start date in mid-September.

This is a paid internship.


See original job posting here: https://www.newberry.org/internships#mdi

Unpaid Internship Opportunity: The Sketchbook Project, Brooklyn, NY



The Sketchbook Project


Brooklyn Art Library and The Sketchbook Project are looking for 1-2 spring/summer interns to join our team! PLEASE NOTE: You MUST receive college credit for this program! Prior authorization from your school will be required. We are an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects. Our flagship endeavor is The Sketchbook Project, a crowd-sourced library that features 35,430 artists’ books contributed by creative people from 135+ countries. Brooklyn Art Library is our storefront exhibition space in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY where The Sketchbook Project collection is on view to the public. JOB DESCRIPTION: We are looking for an enthusiastic spring/summer intern to learn the ropes of working behind the scenes of an art library and an international interactive project. You will be working closely with the Founder/Director of the project in all aspects of project administration, from curating books and planning events to helping to digitize sketchbooks and act as an art librarian. Internship duties include, but are not limited to: -Content creation – strong writing skills a plus! -Event planning and execution -Sponsor outreach -Digitizing of sketchbooks 15-20 hours a week. Plus some weeknights for events

Application Instructions / Public Contact Information

Please send a resume and a short note about yourself. Please make it unique! We are not interested in form letters. We want to know about you. For real. steven@sketchbookproject.com Please no phone calls, or ‘pop-ins’.

More information: https://www.nyfa.org/Jobs/Show/8ffd59b7-a2f8-4e2b-a32c-827745f5c381 

Internship Opportunity: Archival Internship (Fall 2016), ARChive of Contemporary Music, NYC

Founded in 1985, the ARChive of Contemporary Music is a not-for-profit archive, music library and research center located in New York City. The ARChive collects, preserves and provides information on the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present. Since the ARChives founding in 1985 our holdings have grown to over 2 million sound recordings, making the ARChive the largest popular music collection in the United States. In addition to sound recordings and publications, the ARChive actively collects all books, magazines, videos, films, photographs, press kits, newspapers clippings, memorabilia and ephemera relating to the history of popular music.

Our current, on-going projects are cataloging and book digitization. Interns may focus on one or both projects and may have the opportunity to work on other projects as they arise.


Interns will receive training that enables them to catalog CDs, vinyl LPs, or books in our File Maker Pro Database using our in-house cataloging rules.
We depend directly on our interns and allow them a great deal of hands-on experience and responsibility.

Interns may work on related projects (for example, in-filing, processing donations, etc.) as needed, if they are interested.


Ideal for the position is a student or recent graduate with a background or interest in music, musicology, fine art, or library & information science.

Candidates must:

  • Possess good interpersonal skills.
  • Be responsible, reliable, and detail-oriented.
  • Be able to handle delicate and valuable materials with care.

Undergraduate library experience and/or graduate-level library classes are preferred.


The ARChive of Contemporary Music is the largest collection of popular music in America, with more than two million recordings. Our music book collection is also one of the best in the United States, numbering 20,000+ volumes. To scan this resource the Internet Archive has installed one of their Scribe machines in our Lower Manhattan facility. When completed, all of our materials will be preserved electronically, OCR Readable, and available in-house for reading and research.

Digitization interns will be trained to scan initially, then will be introduced to more complex tasks once they are familiar with the process. Tasks include:

  • Loading, Scanning, and Republishing books while ensuring high quality standards.
  • Training and working as a team.
  • Trouble shooting the scribe machine, mitigating cataloging inconsistencies, and navigating open source software at Internet Archive.
  • Keeping work areas and equipment clean, neat, and organized.


  • Strong technical (software/hardware) and troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to sit for 6-7.5 hour periods, and comfort with repetitive motion
  • Highly organized
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Familiarity and enthusiasm for music, books, cultural heritage preservation and the arts!
  • Previous library or archive experience or education is preferred, but not essential.

All internships are unpaid, but we are certainly willing to help you meet any requirements to receive course credit. Time requirements are flexible–we ask that you are available for at least one full day (11:00-6:00) per work week, but the more time you can commit to the more responsibility we can give you.

We are currently looking for interns for Fall 2016 but we can be flexible on specific start & end dates. If you are interested, please submit your resume and a cover letter explaining your general interest in working at the archive and what project(s) you are interested in contributing to.

Full post: http://www.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=5607a837cf61e79c&q

Paid Internship: Digital Library Intern, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA

Fall 2015 Digital Library Intern

The American Philosophical Society Library is seeking applicants for our Digital Library Internship Program.

Current Project
The Fall 2015 intern will aid in the development of a large-scale digitization effort to scan, catalog and promote material relating to 18th Century political and scientific writers. This project will be the first of several built around a central theme, and the successful candidate will assist in the development of workflows and standards, and will receive hands-on experience with the APS Digital Library.

Who Should Apply
Current students in, or recent (within the last year) graduates from, Library, History, Public History, Digital Humanities and related programs who have an interest in digital scholarship and digital librarianship.

Experience with any of the following is preferred, but not necessary: HTML, CSS, Drupal, Omeka, cataloging standards.

Interviews will begin the second week of September and the successful candidate will be notified by the first week of October. The intern will work with the APS for 140 hours; the number of hours per week is negotiable.

The deadline to apply is Monday, August 31st.

$2,500 for 140 hours.

About the APS Digital Library
The APS Digital Library (https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/) is built with Islandora (http://islandora.ca/), an opensource combination of Drupal (https://drupal.org/) and Fedora Commons (http://www.fedora-commons.org/).

How To Apply
Email cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to:

Scott Ziegler
Assistant Head of Technology / Web Development Librarian

Paid Internship: Archives and Records Internship, The Chicago Community Trust

Internship Purpose:

Service is the heart of the Trust. The Trust believes that each employee represents the Trust’s commitment to service and plays an essential role to deliver on our mission to lead and inspire philanthropic efforts that measurably improve the quality of life and prosperity in our region.

This position will assist the Archivist and the Digital Archivist, under the direction of the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, in developing the Archives and Records of The Chicago Community Trust as well as with other information duties.

The Chicago Community Trust, the region’s community foundation, is developing a formal archives as a part of its 100th anniversary in 2015. The creation of the digital archives is a goal of the Centennial Plan. This work includes organizing and retrieving material from several locations; developing long-term storage and retrieval mechanisms for both hardcopy and electronic records; developing and implementing control over daily business records; and developing an electronic archives of images and of audio-visual material; and work with the Oral History Project.  This experience will also afford an opportunity to assist with the implementation of the Trust’s Centennial Program.

This is a paid internship, lasting up to twelve months.  It will have a flexible schedule of up to 20 hours per week, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Job Duties:

Assist the Archivist and Digital Archivist in carrying out the Archives and Records Plan, 2013-2016:

  • Create metadata for archival holdings, including the photograph collection, ephemera (known as Collateral Material), oral history collection and audio-visual files
  • Prepare digital files for ingestion into digital asset management system (DSpace)
  • Perform research regarding Trust history and local history
  • Process publication and periodical subscriptions
  • Assist with work related to the Centennial as assigned
  • Assist the Archivist, Digital Archivist, and Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives in other duties as assigned

This description should not be construed to contain every function or responsibility that may be required to be performed by an incumbent in this job.  Incumbents are required to perform other related functions as assigned.

Job Qualifications:

  • Must be a candidate for a Master’s or higher-level degree in Library and Information Science, Archives and Records Management, Digital Humanities, Public History or related degree program
  • Coursework in metadata standards, archives and records management, digital curation, digital preservation, and/or digital libraries preferred
  • Experience working with photograph and other image collections preferred
  • Knowledge of contemporary archival and digitization practices, policies, and procedures, including arrangement, description and file formats a plus
  • Excellent computer skills, including the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must have the ability to work independently with minimal supervision

About The Chicago Community Trust:

For 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2014, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $164 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening community schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org.


Interested individuals should submit an application including a resume and cover letter at http://www.cct.org/about/career-opportunities.

Deadline: July 21, 2015

Unpaid Internship: Archives Assistant, The Dennis Hopper Art Trust, Hollywood, CA


Job Opening Title: Archive Assistant Intern
Institution/Organization Name: The Dennis Hopper Art Trust
Job Location (City, State, Province, Country): Hollywood, Ca, USA
Application Deadline:
Years of experience required: entry level okay

The Dennis Hopper Art Trust Archive is looking for 1-2 interns to work approximately 10 hours per week (Mondays & Wednesdays, 11am-4pm to start for training with Archivist). More hours are available if interested or needed for academic credit.
The DHAT Archive is in need of responsible and precise individuals to assist with archival data & image entry, photo research and scanning for import into a new Art and Archive database.

This position is available to begin immediately and will continue for the Summer semester. There is a possibility that the position can carry over to or begin again in the Fall for internship credit for the right candidate.

Contact Name: Jennifer Vanoni
Contact Email:jennifer(at)dennishoppertrust.com