50th Anniversary Internships

Applications for this program have closed for 2021. 

These paid, virtual opportunities will be available for Summer 2021. Internships are eight weeks in length but may be performed part-time of full-time (see specific project details). Exact appointment dates are flexible and dependent on the student and intern supervisor’s schedules. Please note preferred appointment dates in your application.

Stipend levels are $600/week full-time or a rate of $15/hour for part-time. The application deadline is March 1, 2021.

Please be sure to select your preferred project(s) in your application and address project-relevant interests, experience, and qualifications. See “Application Instructions” for additional application details.



The intern will support the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ online donor engagement and stewardship by assisting with digital marketing, donor relations, and data management. The intern will draft and send donor correspondence, including creative acknowledgements and other pieces to cultivate and segment donors and prospects like an email welcome series and online donor survey. The intern will research and evaluate effective email and digital marketing practices and will implement knowledge gained. Building on the enhancements that have already been made to the Adopt-a-Book webpage, the intern will learn how to edit videos to be posted, help to gather testimonials, and craft a plan to further improve the page. The intern will also learn and apply good data management skills by assisting with work and updates in our email platform and donor database. Additionally, the intern will perform research to discover potential prospects for fundraising priorities.

The intern will think creatively about engaging supporters, communicating effectively, and managing data. The intern will gain real world experience and skills in donor relations, digital marketing, and fundraising research and discovery.

The ideal candidate will be an undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in libraries and archives as well as advancement, fundraising, marketing, etc. The candidate must have strong writing and communications skills. Interest in or experience with digital marketing and donor relations or customer service is a plus.

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible.

Born Digital Collections

Through this project, the intern will learn how to extract metadata from the Archives born digital holdings management system, will analysis the data to develop a risk assessment profile, develop a preservation treatment plan for a selected object type, and perform preservation on holdings from an accession. The intern will gain firsthand knowledge and experience regarding the fragile nature of born digital holdings, their management needs and preservation strategies for long-term enduring access in a cultural heritage context.

The ideal candidate for this project would be a graduate student enrolled in accredited Museum Studies, Library and Information Science, or Digital Curation program. Coursework in digital preservation/curation or experience working with digital collections preferred.

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible.


The intern will work closely with the Head of Resource Description to learn about bias in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). This will involve a review of the current literature available about bias in LCSH, as well as training on navigating cataloging utilities like Classification Web; understanding how authority control works within library systems; and learning more about the role of cooperative cataloging standards and practices as administered by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). Over the course of the project, the intern will learn different methods and strategies for mitigating the effects of bias in LCSH, including how to create and maintain local headings; exploring and using established alternate thesauri; and how to research and propose changes to the existing LCSH system using the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO).

This project will look closely at headings assigned to DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion) materials in our collection and will implement changes with the goal of making description more open, accurate, and inclusive. The intern will be able to assist with the work of researching and crafting subject proposals and/or adding new local headings to our catalog, depending on skill and experience.

The ideal candidate would be a current Master of Library and Information Science student with an interest in cataloging and metadata strongly preferred; willing to train interns with no cataloging background if they have a demonstrated academic background or relevant experience in critical race theory plus one or more of the following areas: Black studies; Native American or Indigenous studies; or Latinx studies.

This position will be part-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Approximately 20 hours per week. Dates flexible.


This intern will collaborate with the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives communications team on social media and public relations projects. The intern will work closely with the Outreach Librarian to evaluate current social media practices, create and organize social media content, and craft social media posts. Working from a prepared list of potential subjects, the intern will learn how to research and develop stories for the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ blog and other outlets that highlight historically underrepresented groups and connect them to books and resources in our collections. The candidate will also work with Public Affairs to develop media lists and promotional marketing content for exhibitions and programs. The intern will have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to press kits and draft marketing text in anticipation of an upcoming exhibition.

During this opportunity, the intern will learn how the Libraries and Archives shares its collections and programs with various audiences. The intern will sharpen their research and writing skills while crafting social media content and develop an understanding of PR/marketing for museum library exhibitions. Intern may also gain experience using Hootsuite as a content management tool and WordPress as a publishing tool.

This position would be ideal for an undergraduate or graduate communications, marketing, English, or journalism student with a strong interest in history, libraries, or cultural heritage, or a Master of Library and Information Science candidate with a desire to gain knowledge in outreach and communications. Experience researching and creating social media content on history, art, or science topics and skill or interest in raising public awareness in a museum library setting is preferred. Candidate should show demonstrated interest in writing diverse stories and understand the importance of highlighting historically marginalized groups and figures.

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Dates flexible.

Digital Curation

The digital curation intern will contribute to the creation of digital resources and exhibitions about the history of Smithsonian women in science. They will research the history of women in science at the Smithsonian and help to manage a data set regarding the 500+ Smithsonian women in science in SI records. The intern will create 15-20 biographies of Smithsonian women in science to be posted on Smithsonian Institution Archives’ website, as well as complete research about how those women are currently represented (or not) in Smithsonian collections data to help drive current reparative description efforts. The intern will use this research to draft a blog post, as well as contribute to plans for upcoming digital exhibitions about how Smithsonian women in science have fought to pursue their research.

Through this project, an intern will gain applied archival and scholarly research experience, as well as experience developing public history projects, especially digital resources and exhibitions. In addition, they will have the opportunity to research and contribute to reparative description projects to increase the discoverability of women in science in Smithsonian collections data.

The ideal candidate would be either a junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student. Excellent historical research and writing skills, a background in digital history or information science; or a background in the history of science and gender studies are desired.

This position will be full-time, for eight weeks during the summer. Ideal dates: June 14th through August 6, 2021.

Funding for the 50th Anniversary intern class was provided by the Secretary of the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian National Board.

Application Instructions

The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives will consider applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • is currently enrolled in an academic program at an accredited college or university
  • has graduated from an accredited college or university within the past six months
  • has been accepted to an accredited college or university, which is scheduled to start within six months of the internship start date

Applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments system (SOLAA). Applicants should select “Smithsonian Libraries and Archives” as the unit and the appropriate program and project. Please be sure to review individual program and project descriptions before submitting your application.

The following items must be included and uploaded into the SOLAA system as part of your application:

  • Essay of 500 to 1,000 words describing your learning objectives, qualifications, and career aspirations and how they relate to this internship
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  • CV/Resume
  • Contacts for two professional or academic recommendations. (Candidate inputs names and emails into the SOLAA application system. References are automatically sent an electronic survey and have an opportunity to upload a traditional reference letter.)


Application deadline for 50th Anniversary Program is March 1st, 2021. Applicants will be updated of their status by late March.