Internships and Fellowships


Previously two separate entities, the Smithsonian Libraries and the Smithsonian Institution Archives have recently merged to become Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. Smithsonian Libraries and Archives plans to host paid, virtual internships starting in Summer 2021.

The newly integrated internship program of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives will provide students in library, archival, information science and related disciplines a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with expert Libraries and Archives staff and other Smithsonian staff to acquire the latest skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience needed for today’s information and cultural heritage workplace.

Note that all internships will be virtual/remote through Summer 2021. We will update program information for Fall 2021 and beyond when available.


The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives welcomes current or recent undergraduate and graduate students who wish to gain experience in archives or museum libraries. The Libraries and Archives is dedicated to building diversity in the library, archival and information science profession. Applicants from historically underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Internships are typically eight weeks in length offered for spring, summer, and fall semesters. Part-time options, practicums and for-credit internships may be available. Opportunities vary and are based on available programs and projects. Please see “Programs and Projects” for complete information.

Note that all internships will be virtual/remote through Summer 2021. We will update program information for Fall 2021 and beyond when available.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives does not award academic credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning. Contact your academic advisor for instructions on how to receive credit. Interns are responsible for securing their own housing and transportation. Many universities rent out dorm space during the summer to interns and the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships provides a guide for the DC area. There is no parking specifically available for interns at the Smithsonian. Public transportation options, including rail and bus, are located close to most internship sites. Interns do not receive transportation benefits.

For general information about internship opportunities with other Smithsonian museums and research centers, please visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships website. For all Smithsonian Libraries and Archives internship inquiries, please email

Programs and Projects

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.

  • Summer: March 1st 2021
  • Fall: Pending project availability. Please check back.
  • Spring: Pending project availability. Please check back.


Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record of the past. The Libraries is uniquely positioned to help scholars understand the continuing vitality of this relationship, via exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals.

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program provides support for scholarly research in the history of science and technology that makes use of the rare books and manuscripts of the Dibner Library. The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program provides support for scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, DC and New York, NY, in an extensive range of subject areas.

The deadline for all Smithsonian Libraries fellowship programs is January 15 for appointments during the following academic year (September 1 through August 31). We are currently accepting applications. Please see the individual program websites for details.

Travel awards to work with collections

The  Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards allow mid-career educators to be in residence and utilize the Smithsonian Libraries distinctive collections, focusing on science, history, culture and arts.  The awards are open to middle & high school teachers, college teachers, and museum educators working on curriculum development or publications in print or electronic form.