Specific Internship Opportunities

Our NMAH Internship Program application is currently open for Summer 2023.

Only complete SOLAA applications will be considered; this means, at its most basic, a submitted application on SOLAA for the correct semester that includes a learning goals essay and a resume, with the option to also include a transcript/class list or letters of reference. Please note the following due dates:

Spring 2023 applications for the NMAH Internship Program is now closed. Spring intern selections should be made by late November. Spring internships should expect to start at the beginning of February, and internships can last through mid-May.

Summer 2023 applications for the NMAH Internship Program will be due January 17, 2023, at 12 PM EST. Summer intern selections should be made by early March. Summer internships should expect to start at the beginning of June, and internships can last through mid-August.

Please note: some specific internship opportunities are only offered in spring or in summer—not both. Some internships are offered every semester. Please check the internship post to determine when it’s expected to take place. If you’d like to apply for the same internship for spring and for summer, please submit two applications—one for spring, and one for summer. To learn how to submit multiple applications easily, check out our How to Apply guide.

Internships may also be posted on a rolling basis. To get updates about new internship opportunities as they are posted, you’re encouraged to sign up to our recruitment mailing list using this form.

 


Here are the internships for Summer 2023 recruitment (with special Spring 2023 recruitment noted):

Public Programming, Community Outreach, and Digital Engagement

Public Affairs, Editorial Services, and Event Planning

Archival, Collections, and Curatorial Practice

Design and Exhibition Services

Didn't find the internship you wanted? You can still submit an application through our General Application Pools for NMAH internships! Apply through:

Questions about applying? Check out the How to Apply section of our NMAH internship website! Please note that we are currently not recruiting for high school interns. Depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each NMAH internship may be virtual or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual); details are included in the individual postings for each internship opportunity. Any in-person or hybrid experience may be converted to virtual or postponed to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns. For any other questions, please check out our NMAH Internship FAQ or the Office of Internship Program's FAQ.

 *Please note: All academic appointments may require proof of vaccination for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized (or, for international remote interns, a WHO-recommended) COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved Reasonable Accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accommodations here.

 

Public Programming, Community Outreach, and Digital Engagement


Civic Season Program Internship

Are you passionate about empowering younger generations and making your voice heard? Do you want to gain experience working with cultural institutions of all shapes and sizes, nationwide? Are you interested in sharpening your skills in project management, organization and communications? We want to work with you! The Civic Season is a new annual tradition held between Juneteenth and July 4th, driven forward by Gen Z-ers and history museums across the country. With your help, we are excited to make the third Civic Season more impactful in more communities by conducting outreach to and managing the involvement of cultural institutions, state and local governments, and civic organizations. This might look like holding webinars and consultations with partners, organizing data and info, drafting materials for social media or creative products, or weighing in on the design of the kickoff party. You will be working closely with the Made By Us project's managing director at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and other remote team members across the country.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to introduce an intern to program development process and aspects of project and partner management.

Status: Virtual

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the decisions and approaches that go into public program design and execution
  • Communicate professionally with institutional stakeholders and partners
  • Maintain lists, databases, website built in Wordpress and use Slack and Outlook to communicate
  • Meaningfully participate in a dynamic, fast-paced, collaborative environment on an exciting and high-impact project
  • Lead webinars and consultations with cultural institutions staff and leadership
  • Craft a social media post about history and civics information

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Conduct internet research about organizations and people to build lists and inform decisions
  • Use social media and the internet to research potential collaborators and trends
  • Correspond and collaborate with professional staff at institutions across the country
  • Use Slack and Google Docs to communicate, write, edit and share updates
  • Understand how to balance priorities in a fast-moving project

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Basic internet research skills and ability to find and analyze information.
  • Solid skills in using Outlook and email to correspond professionally and send calendar invitations.
  • Comfortable using Zoom and video chat to work remotely.
  • Ability to communicate with team members in a responsive manner about work, priorities and deadlines.
  • Willingness to speak up with your opinion!

Audience: This internship can be generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, or specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Spring and Summer 2023. This internship may be full-time or part-time (minimum 16 hours/week) depending on the intern’s and mentor’s needs and schedule. The anticipated length of this internship is 10 - 12 weeks; the length can be flexible.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray commuting costs for an in-person internship and/or technology costs for the virtual internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Education & Outreach Internship

As an Education and Outreach Intern, you will have an opportunity to help local and national students, teachers and families connect to and use history in a meaningful way through the NMAH collections. The internship will introduce you to museum education best practices and provide plenty of opportunities to develop your skills and techniques necessary to work with teachers and PK – 12 students.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to provide aspiring museum education professionals with experience in developing lesson plans, online resources, museum programs and field trip experiences as well as examine the power of museums in supporting PK-12 cross-curricular education.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Engage diverse audiences
  • Implement best practices for museum education
  • Identify the processes behind the implementation of programming
  • Connect teachers, students and families to museum objects in relevant, engaging and educational ways
  • Develop object-based museum experiences, lesson plans, online resources and other materials for teachers, students and families.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Design new interactive elements and educational materials for museum educators to incorporate into teacher professional development workshops and direct-to-student programming and resources
  • Prepare materials to be used in professional development workshops, events, and other programs conducted by the K-12 education team
  • Creatively and collaboratively with the K-12 education team develop concepts for new resources and programs for teachers and students.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • In the process of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree in Museum Studies, Museum Education, Art History, History, Education, or another related field
  • Experiences in formal and informal education settings a plus, but not required
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative environment
  • Open-minded in learning new topics and skills.

Audience: This internship can be generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, or specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Summer 2023. This internship may be full-time or part-time (minimum 16 hours/week) depending on the intern’s and mentor’s needs and schedule. The anticipated length of this internship is 10 - 12 weeks; the length can be flexible.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray commuting costs for an in-person internship and/or technology costs for the virtual internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Experience Design Internship

The Experience Design team at the National Museum of American History strives to build relationships with all our visitors and create conversations about history with as many people as possible. We envision the National Museum of American History as an inclusive and welcoming space, alive with conversation, which creates and maintains a connected community among all our visitors. Experience Developers on our team create and sustain the overall daily experience for millions of visitors to our national museum – everything from our exhibition for our youngest visitors Wonderplace, to interactive theater programs like the museum’s iconic play Join the Student Sit-Ins at the Greensboro Lunch Counter, to tours and talks, to musical performances, to customer service and much more. In addition, the team works on developing major special projects like the History Film Forum and the Time Trials brand. During this internship, interns will get an inside view into developing and managing this complex program that is at the core of what we do at the Smithsonian Institution. Interns will be mentored by Christopher Wilson, Director, Experience Design, and will require close work with other members of the Office of Audience Engagement.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to introduce students to the development and management of a vision and strategy for audience engagement at a national museum.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Develop an understanding of museum public engagement practices
  • Develop program planning and evaluation skills
  • Practice research and communication skills
  • Contribute ideas based on lived experience to specific Museum programs
  • Practice professional skills in a team setting

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Actively participate in meetings
  • Meet project and program deadlines
  • Produce well written information

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • In the process of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree in History, Museum Studies, Museum Education, Education, or another related field
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative environment
  • Open-minded in learning new topics and skills

Audience: This internship is specialized for individuals who already have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Advanced undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship typically takes place every semester—fall, spring, and summer. This internship is expected to be between 20 - 30 hours a week. The anticipated length of this internship is 10 - 12 weeks; the length can be flexible.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $2,000 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Program in Latino History and Culture Internship

Working with the Latino Program Director, the intern will learn about museum programming and community engagement work through a diversity of activities that can include research, communication, and writing to support the internally-oriented LatinxCommons group and the visitor-oriented Latino Program.

Goal: Overall, this internship will introduce interns to the challenges and opportunities to create a more inclusive narrative at the NMAH

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • learn about museum practice in regards to issues of representation at the national museum.
  • enhance their research skills and learn about material culture interpretation.
  • learn about museum education and program production.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • conduct research
  • write short essays
  • attend meetings and take notes at meetings
  • communicate with others in the museum.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant has an interest and passion for Latinx history; high Spanish proficiency level; good communication skills; and savvy research skills.

Audience: This internship can be generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, or specialized, for individuals who already have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship typically takes place every semester—fall, spring, and summer. This internship can be full-time or part-time, minimum of 16 hours per week and is expected to be 10 weeks.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a guaranteed minimum stipend of $2,000 to accommodate any commuting or technology needs during the internship. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Website Content Management Internship (SPRING 2023 - application deadline December 5! + also recruiting for Summer 2023)

This intern will have a key role in working with Digital Experience staff to create and maintain informational pages on the museum's website, develop online exhibitions and other microsites, assist with measurement and evaluation, and other tasks. This is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance skills in web design and digital outreach within the context of museums, education, and world-class history.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to offer experience in creating and maintaining content on a major museum website.

Status: Virtual

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Learn how website content supports the museum mission and facilitates other aspects of public education and outreach
  • Increase competency in website design, accessibility, and user experience practices
  • roduce user-centered web products that meet the high quality standards of the Smithsonian Institution.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Attend team meetings and help plan website projects at various project stages
  • Build and edit website pages
  • Review website content for accuracy in collaboration with museum staff.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Basic proficiency in creating web content and/or using a content management system like Drupal or WordPress
  • Knowledge of digital image editing and access to software like Photoshop or similar
  • Good writing and editing skills, with attention to detail.

Audience: This internship is specialized for individuals who already have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 interns. Undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Spring 2023 and Summer 2023. This internship is expected to be part time for 10-12 weeks.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.

 

 

Public Affairs, Editorial Services, and Event Planning


Communications, Marketing, & Public Affairs Internship

The National Museum of American History Office of Communications and Marketing ensures that museum maintains a positive relationship with the community and members of the press. Daily activities include responding to all incoming media queries; develops strategies for effective proactive information about museum activities; coordinates documentary film crews, approves outside media releases by agencies/donors, approves advertisements promoting exhibitions and public programs and handles any crisis issues. Among the events that communications and marketing stages are press previews, press conferences, exhibition dedication ceremonies, donation ceremonies (usually involving objects and sometimes celebrity donors) and press luncheons. Coming up we will be preparing for donations, exhibition openings, and doing a lot of filming at the museum. We are a small office with four full time employees and so we rely heavily on interns who generally have projects of their own to promote start to finish. For example, if a notable musician is willing to donate something to the museum, an intern might be asked to research and create a background on the musician and object being donated, speak with curators at the museum, work with the special events office on the donation ceremony schedule, and caption the pictures taken at the event. In addition, interns assist the office with daily operations: researching and responding to media and public inquiries, compiling media clips, researching and writing calendar submissions, media advisories and releases and some other things that come up. Our office relies on interns to assist with daily operations like: researching and responding to media and public queries, compiling media clips, writing media advisories and press releases, and researching and writing calendar submissions. Interns are given the opportunity to come up with ideas on how the Museum can continue to remain one of the most visited museums in the world. The office also facilitates all interviews with the director and curators and is responsible for coordinating and scheduling all media, documentary and commercial film crews. An internship in the Office of Communications and Marketing is not only a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in those areas, but also those interested in event planning, public affairs, and museum studies. During the internship you will learn how to write and cite according to AP stylebook, how to draft and create media advisories, press releases and event show flows, and how to effectively communicate with the public and media. Your writing will become concise as you raise awareness for museum exhibitions and events. Due to the nature of the work, interns will explore much of the museum as they research for media releases and advisories. Working in our office rewards interns with professional skills in a friendly environment that promotes creative ideas and fosters professional growth.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to propose creative ideas and contribute to the Office of Communications and Marketing. The intern will gain insight into the inner workings and aspects of the Office of Communications and Marketing in the National Museum of American History. When the internship is completed, the intern will have and understanding about the field of public relations and ideally be prepared for to seek a position in the communications field.   Interns will develop verbal, written, and professional skills and understand what makes compelling news.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Gain experience working in an active communications and marketing office and learn how to promote the Smithsonian and its work to the public and media
  • Improve writing skills through a variety of communication mediums (press materials, marketing materials and web content)
  • Learn what makes a story news worthy and how to tailor stories to relevant news outlets

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Research and respond to media and public inquiries
  • Compile media clips
  • Draft and edit media advisories and press releases
  • Research and write calendar submissions
  • Attend special events
  • Draft statements
  • Oversee film and news crews

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Enthusiastic about communications and marketing with excellent research and writing skills
  • Professional demeanor, organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks within identified timeframes

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Editorial Services Internship

With museum labels, educational guides, blog posts, and more, on topics like popular culture, migration, and women’s history (just to name a few), the editorial output of the National Museum of American History is extensive and varied—and so too is the work of the Editorial Services office. Gain skills and practice in structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, proofreading, and fact checking, and learn about editorial management at one of the Smithsonian’s largest museums.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experience that aims to teach the many editorial skills that are used in working for a Smithsonian museum and offer an intern the opportunity to practice those varied skills with the guidance of an experienced professional editor.

Status: Virtual

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Learn the different core editorial skills and additional skills (as defined by Editors Canada), including the tasks associated with practicing each skill and the challenges and benefits of using each skill on projects;
  • Practice the core editorial skills and some of the additional skills on projects in development at NMAH;
  • Learn what NMAH values in creating writing for its audiences and why.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Practice shaping NMAH writing to better align it with museum standards and better suit it to its audiences;
  • Receive feedback regularly as assignments are delivered and reviewed;
  • Have opportunity to ask NMAH editor Leslie Poster any and all questions regarding assignments;
  • Participate in regular hourlong meeting each week with NMAH editor Leslie Poster for discussion;  
  • Attend at least one meeting of Smithsonian Editors;
  • Attend at least one training hosted for NMAH staff by NMAH editor Leslie Poster;
  • Attend intra and interdepartmental meetings to see how museum editors coordinate and collaborate with other functional groups within the museum;
  • Receive career counseling and résumé guidance based on current industry hiring needs.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant has a demonstrated interest in issues surrounding inclusive language and/or language justice as well as a demonstrated interest in professional writing.

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and folks with equivalent professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Summer 2023. This internship is expected to be part time, minimum of 16 hours per week. The typical length of an internship is between 8-12 weeks.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Special Events Internship

The Office of Special Events plans and coordinates over 100 events each year including: exhibition openings, press conferences, donation ceremonies, staff receptions, donor cultivation events, and corporate dinners and receptions. Additionally, the museum is able to host social events including weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. The office is characterized by a busy but proactive environment that strives to forward the goals of the Smithsonian Institution by connecting with the community and public at large. We offer an unparalleled opportunity for students/individuals interested in event planning and coordinating to delve into the museum environment and gain hands-on skills from a highly esteemed workplace. Our interns are given a great deal of responsibility and permitted the chance to develop their writing skills, interact with museum officials, work with caterers and vendors, and staff numerous special events. As an intern, you will be exposed to the nuances of protocol and frequently accompany staff members for on-site visits with potential donors and walk-throughs with clients and vendors.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to assist students in developing the skills necessary to plan and execute events.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Summarize the necessary steps to execute an event at NMAH
  • Produce documentation and memoranda for events
  • Develop problem solving and time management skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum
  • Manage the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar
  • Interact and communicate with museum staff, vendors, event attendees, and members of the public

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Availability to work events including nights and some weekends

Audience: This internship can both be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns. Undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time. 

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


 

 

Archival, Collections, and Curatorial Practice


Archives Center Internship

*Are you currently enrolled in an archival studies program, and/or a program in American history, American Studies, Museum Studies, or Public History, or have applied to such a program for the next academic year? You may want to check out the Lemelson Center Archival Internship, application deadline March 1, 2023.

 

During this internship, the intern’s primary duty will be to assist Archives Center reference staff in varied aspects of reference service, including: answering public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person, performing background research as needed; taking charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials.

Other duties as assigned may include scanning archival materials and assisting the Archives Center staff with archival processing. Intern(s) will perform collection processing and/or cataloging activities in collaboration with the Archives Center’s processing coordinator. Tasks include performing research in order to write introductory texts for finding aids, arranging and re-housing collection materials, and describing materials for finding aids. The intern will receive instruction in processing techniques, archival description, the use of ArchivesSpace for electronic cataloging, and collection care, and will gain experience in conducting varied types of research. Training provided. Attention to detail required.

There are no specific courses at this point that are needed, but interested applicants may want to consider volunteering in their college/university archives or local historical society to gain some exposure to the archival profession. There are many facets of archival work that include: building custom enclosures such as boxes and sink mats; processing collections (arranging and describing); digitizing photographs and other documents and managing digital assets; assisting researchers in our public reading room; creating EAD finding aids using ArchivesSpace; researching, designing, and preparing small exhibits. Digital asset interns at NMAH's Archives Center are trained to work with a variety of systems such as ArchivesSpace (collections management system) and Opentext (digital asset management system). Working knowledge of excel spreadsheets is useful, but training is provided for all aspects of an interns project. 

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns the skills required in varied aspects of reference service and to learn from Archives Center reference staff.

Status: In-person

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Better understand how to analyze a reference inquiry
  • Better understand how to locate information using a variety of systems
  • Better interact with people and provide the excellent customer service
  • Learn how the Archives Center describes, arranges and catalogs archival collections
  • Enhance their understanding of collection management tools such as ArchivesSpace
  • Assist in the digitization and cataloging of collection materials.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently
  • Follow detailed instructions
  • Be flexible 
  • Answer public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person
  • Perform background research as needed
  • Take charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in working with researchers
  • Willingness to learn multiple collections management systems

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for up to 5 interns. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Curating Asian Pacific America Internship (SPRING 2023 - application deadline December 5!)

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Of the nation's top ten languages most commonly spoken in American homes, four hail from Asia (Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean). With a group of 24 million whose origins are traced to dozens of countries, specialists in the field of Asian American studies are needed in every educational, cultural, and research institution, including the Smithsonian. You'll be part of a new generation of museum professionals who will be responsible for assisting curatorial staff at the National Museum of American History with conducting research, collecting objects, and mounting exhibits related to this dynamic group.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to deepen the intern's understanding of Asian Pacific American history in a museum setting.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Develop an introductory understanding of how Asian American studies informs museum practice
  • Write about objects and documents in the collection that pertain to Asian Pacific American history, art, and culture
  • Learn and participate in a team-based work environment

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Conduct research on an object's provenance
  • Collaborate and correspond with a variety of staff at the institution engaged in APA curatorial practice

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Prior introductory course work in Asian American and/or Pacific Islander studies
  • Basic knowledge of spreadsheets (Excel or Numbers

Audience: This internship is specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field (museum studies and/or Asian American and/or Pacific Islander studies). This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Spring 2023 for 10 weeks. The internship is expected to be part-time, 15-20 hours per week.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $2,000 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Digital Humanities Internship for Latino Projects (Extended Experience - 8 Months from Spring through Summer 2023, extended application deadline December 5!)

The intern will learn about museum and community engagement practice by working with the National Museum of American History (NMAH) team to build two relatively simple websites on the NMAH server: one for a project called Collective Care: Responses to Natural and Human-Made Disasters in Puerto Rico (CCPR), in collaboration with the Hurricane Maria Archive and the University of Puerto Rico to document the recent overlapping crises that have affected Puerto Ricans on the island and the diaspora, and which will result in an exhibition in 2026; the second is for a project on The First 100: 50 Years of Chicanas Changing History (CCH), to build a digital archive in collaboration with the University of Michigan, which chronicles the lives and careers of Chicanas in academia over 50 years to demonstrate the importance of their contributions to the field of History. Time permitting, the intern may have the opportunity to work with other Latino history projects as well. 

Collective Care in Puerto Rico is a research and collecting initiative that builds on ongoing work in and with communities in Puerto Rico to document and collect physical objects and born-digital assets related to the impact of COVID-19 on the Island. Caring for each other through multiple disasters, Puerto Ricans have invented forms of survival that respond to the specificities of their situation. After hurricane María, community-led recovery efforts generated forms of collective care that defied the structural violence that kills Puerto Ricans through austerity measures, environmental destruction, food insecurity, and racism. The stories collected and told through this project, as well as the methods used to co-create them, offer new and timely ways to think about how communities can respond to climate change and how researchers and institutions can work with and for communities. 

The First 100 documents the state of the field of Chicana history through in-depth oral history interviews with the women who have lived it and shaped it, creating an intellectual space for these groundbreaking historians to articulate their scholarly journeys in their own words. This project is a partnership between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Latino Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, the University of Michigan Library system, the University of California Los Angeles’s Chicano Studies Research Center, and the University of California Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. These interviews demonstrate how Chicana historians diversified historical themes, analyses, methodologies, and sources, shifting historical focus to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, identity, and space. These trailblazing historians transformed the way we do history, the way we understand history, and who is included in the history of the United States.  

An intern working with these two projects will support the building of our digital presence on the NMAH side, conduct background research to better understand project needs and will use a collaborative approach to the website design. The project will learn from this intern’s experience and expertise.

Intern will work on the following project pieces:

  1. NMAH-based website landing pages and sub-pages: Working under the guidance of the New Media Team: Matt MacArthur and David McOwen, the intern will create two bilingual web portals for the projects that feature community and institutional partners, new acquisitions, and information about the project. Intern will learn best practices for creating a website landing page at the National Museum of American History. 
  2. Background research: Through project-based background research and outreach to our partner organizations, the intern will learn about project partners and how to communicate needs to stakeholders. Collecting this information will provide the intern with the big picture, and they will gain first-hand knowledge of what it means to work closely with communities and curators on digital humanities projects. They will also learn to design the website contents for user experience as they compile the information needed to populate the site.
  3. Collaborative Approach to Public History: The intern will work with project teams, “Do No Harm” exhibition team, the University of Michigan team, and the New Media team to complete this project. They will hone a collaborative approach to public history and develop skills that will last a lifetime.
  4. Latino Web Content: Time permitting, the intern may have the opportunity to work with other current and former Latino history projects to build out their web presence as well. This work may provide a unique opportunity to work across curatorial teams and to see some of the long-term digital archiving work that is needed over time. 
  5. Producing Web Content: Additionally, if the intern would like to publish his/her/their own work as a blog or more scholarly piece, this project will help them understand the steps in that publication process.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns the skills required to ethically engage in digital humanities with community partners, focused on Latino history.

Status: Virtual

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Work with a project team and community partners to develop content of landing pages 
  • Understand best practices of web development as well as the complexities of working within a large institution and multiple stakeholders. 
  • Conduct background research and create a site to add to their portfolio.
  • Understand 1) the goals and history of the project; 2) how objects are acquired; 3) what community partnerships look like and how they are formed; and 4) one model for community-driven digital humanities methodology
  • Utilize website content to support an organization's mission and partners with other aspects of public education and outreach
  • Increase competency in website design, accessibility, and user experience practices
  • Produce user-centered web products that meet the high quality standards

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work with project team and community partners to develop the content of landing pages for two NMAH projects. 
  • Learn best practices of web development with our NMAH new media team as well as the complexities of working within a large institution and multiple stakeholders. 
  • Conduct background research and build a site to add to their portfolio.
  • Explore 1) the goals and history of the project; 2) how objects are acquired; 3) what community partnerships look like and how they are formed; and 4) one model for community-driven digital humanities methodology
  • Develop website content to support the Museum mission and partners with other aspects of public education and outreach
  • Increase competency in website design, accessibility, and user experience practices
  • Produce user-centered web products that meet the high quality standards of the Smithsonian Institution

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Preferred experience with web content management tools like WordPress, Drupal, Omeka.
  • Experience with photoshop or photo manipulation is a plus.
  • Basic understanding of Spanish will be helpful, and general understanding of the digital humanities.

Audience: This internship is specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field (web content, digital humanities). This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place for 8 months between February - September 2023. The internship is expected to be part-time, 15-20 hours per week.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $15,000 (approximately $1,875 per month) to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


For more opportunities, please see our General Application Pool for Public History: Collections, Curatorial, and Digital Access and Archives


 

Design and Exhibition Services


Exhibition Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions? Send us your portfolio! The NMAH Exhibition Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the development and design of object-based, interpretive exhibitions. Develop your 3D and graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the internship, feel free to contact Nigel Briggs, NMAH designer and internship coordinator for the design studio.

Please note: Your application will not be reviewed without a portfolio! You can add your portfolio to your SOLAA application in several ways: 

  • Upload a PDF of your work as a "Resume" document if it does not exceed the size limitations
  • Add a link to your online portfolio on your actual resume
  • Upload a Microsoft Word file as a "Resume" document with just a link to a Dropbox, Google Drive folder, etc. to "share with anyone with a link."

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide students with exposure to and real-world experience in the development and design of museum exhibitions. 

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand the exhibition development, design, and production process for interpretive, object-based exhibitions.
  • Use Vectorworks for exhibition concept design and detailing
  • Create and present verbal and visual exhibition design concept presentations
  • Prepare exhibition design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Use Vectorworks or SketchUp for exhibition design modeling and detailing
  • Use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for exhibition graphic design and presentations
  • Participate in weekly creative critiques about exhibition design
  • Attend exhibition project meetings
  • Present exhibition design concepts within the Studio, within project teams, and to museum leaders.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Vectorworks and other 3-D CAD software
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
  • Ability to convey creative thinking by drawing, diagramming, model making, and verbal presentation
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have prior experience in the field. This internship is intended for two to four interns. Past interns have had background in the following fields: industrial design, theater, merchandising, architecture, interior design, exhibition design, and/or museum studies. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Graphic Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with graphic design for museum applications such as wayfinding, environmental graphics, interpretive design, and exhibition graphics? Send us your portfolio! The NMAH Graphic Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the application of graphic design within the museum environment. Develop graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the internship, feel free to contact Nigel Briggs, NMAH designer and internship coordinator for the design studio.

Please note: Your application will not be reviewed without a portfolio! You can add your portfolio to your SOLAA application in several ways: 

  • Upload a PDF of your work as a "Resume" document if it does not exceed the size limitations
  • Add a link to your online portfolio on your actual resume
  • Upload a Microsoft Word file as a "Resume" document with just a link to a Dropbox, Google Drive folder, etc. to "share with anyone with a link."

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide students with exposure to and real-world experience in the development and design of graphic design for museum exhibitions. 

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand the development, design and production process for exhibition and environmental graphics both graphic design for environmental graphics inside and outside of the museum building
  • Understand implementation of a museum-wide graphic identity
  • Understand graphic design for wayfinding and building signage
  • Understand the use of typography, graphic design and environmental graphics for museum exhibitions
  • Prepare graphic design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work with existing Graphic Identity Style Guide to produce museum wayfinding and building signage
  • Work with exhibition project teams to develop exhibition graphics such as labels, environmental graphics, and exhibition-specific graphic identities
  • Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for three to four interns. Past interns have had background in the following fields: graphic design, visual communication, and/or museum studies. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a minimum total stipend of $500 to defray technology and/or commuting costs during the internship, and after being selected, interns are able to apply for additional stipend funding based on self-disclosed financial need. The total awarded amount of the stipend depends on the availability of museum funds and is at the discretion of NMAH. Please note that stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Didn’t find what you’re looking for? You can check out the General Application Pools for NMAH internships!

Additionally, if you’re interested in internship opportunities at other museums and research centers at the Smithsonian, please visit the Smithsonian’s Office of Internship Programs.