AVMPI-AMIA Pathways Internship

SI Unit

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Audiovisual Media Preservation Initiative (AVMPI) in partnership with the Association of Moving Image Archvists (AMIA)

SI Supervisors

Walter Forsberg, AVMPI Curator; Siobhan Hagan, AVMPI Coordinator


12-week internship: June-August 2024

AVMPI Background

Launched in 2021, the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Audiovisual Media Preservation Initiative (AVMPI) is a landmark effort dedicated to the preservation and digital transfer of the Smithsonian's vast audiovisual collections, which spans a vast range of topics, such as oral histories, scientific studies, experimental and educational films, rare home movies, and more. AVMPI aims to broaden access to these invaluable resources for a diverse global audience by implementing a pan-institutional approach, which will maximize resources, increase work efficiency, and streamline workflows and processes.

AMIA Pathways Program

The goal of the AMIA Pathways program is to support and mentor the professional journeys of individuals from traditionally underrepresented communities to find their learning objectives and help guide their development; especially if interested in discovering professional pathways in the field of archives, libraries or museums with an emphasis in audiovisual heritage (film, video, audio). The Pathways fellowship encompasses this paid internship opportunity, mentorship pairings, professional development (webinar curriculum specific to audiovisual skill development, etc.), cohort building, networking, and an alumni program. For more information about the Pathways Fellowship see: https://amianet.org/about/amia-pathways/apply-for-a-pathways-fellowship/ or email: pathways@weareamia.org.

AVMPI-AMIA Pathways Internship Description

In collaboration with the Association of Moving Image Archivist’s (AMIA) Pathways Fellowship program (funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services), AVMPI will provide hands-on training and professional development experience to a paid intern to assist in creating a clear pathway for this person to join the field of moving image archives and audiovisual preservation.  

The AVMPI Internship offers a unique opportunity to engage with the preservation and digitization of audiovisual materials, working alongside experienced professionals in the field. Over the course of 12 weeks, the intern will participate in various stages of the AVMPI digital transfer workflow, including: identification, assessment, conservation, digital transfer, description, and quality control. The internship scope will be tailored to the skills and interests of the intern.

The primary internship location is located with the Smithsonian Institution Archives at Capital Gallery, 600 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC. Most activities will be conducted on site, but there may be opportunities for occasional telework.


The AVMPI Intern will play a crucial role in supporting our efforts to preserve and digitally transfer audiovisual materials. Activities may include:

  • Digital Conversion and Transfer:
    • Assist in the preparation for digital transfer of audiovisual materials, including videotapes, audiotapes, and motion picture films, through physical repairs, baking, and cleaning.
    • Assist in the digital transfer of these audiovisual materials using specialized equipment and software.
    • Ensure the quality and accuracy of digital transfers, following established preservation standards.
  • Metadata Creation:
    • Contribute to the creation of detailed metadata for digitized audiovisual content in Airtable, enhancing its discoverability and accessibility.
    • Collaborate with the archival team to accurately document the cultural and historical context of the materials.
  • Quality Control:
    • Conduct quality control checks on digital assets to identify and address any issues promptly, using open-source tools such as MediaConch and BWF MetaEdit.
    • Work closely with preservation specialists to implement corrective actions when necessary.
  • Research and Documentation:
    • Conduct research on preservation best practices and emerging technologies in audiovisual media preservation.
    • Document findings and contribute to the development of internal guidelines for AVMPI.
  • Collaboration:
    • Interact and network with Smithsonian staff, archivists, and preservation experts to gain insights into the broader field of library and archival sciences.
    • Participate in team meetings and contribute ideas to enhance the effectiveness of AVMPI.


  • Enrolled in or recently graduated from a program in Library Science, Archival Studies, Audiovisual Preservation, or a related field.
  • Strong organizational and research skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail, professionalism, and collaborative teamwork
  • Passionate about audiovisual media conservation and preservation, scholarly research, media technologies, audiovisual and photographic archival materials, and/or creative curatorial approaches to cultural storytelling
  • Prior experience in video production or audio recording is highly desirable
  • Two applications must be submitted: one through the Smithsonian, and one through AMIA. Email pathways@weareamia.org or avmpi@si.edu for more information


A stipend of $12,000 will be offered for this 12-week session. Students receiving stipends must intern full-time (40 hrs/week). If you plan to receive academic credit for your internship, please check with your college or university about eligibility requirements for receiving a stipend and academic credit simultaneously.  

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit an application through SOLAA by March 31, 2024: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/#/public

Please note that the Smithsonian internship application is separate from the AMIA Pathways Fellowship application, which also must be submitted to be considered for this internship. The AMIA application can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Pathways2024.

The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.