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Collection Internships

Preservation Intern cleaning an object
Preservation Intern, Emily Conforto, treating an object.

The Collection Management Department offers internships - ranging from ten weeks to one year - to undergraduate and graduate students. Internship projects are matched to departmental needs and priorities and the intern's interest and schedule. Full- and part-time (minimum two days per week) internships can be arranged. 


Projects

Interns participate fully as collection staff members. That entails performing a variety of collection management tasks along with their assigned project; e.g. daily monitoring of exhibit galleries. Projects may include the following:

  • Inventorying specific collections and amending location information

  • Researching the history of a specific object or its attribution to a specific accession

  • Assisting conservation/preservation staff in a variety of projects including environmental monitoring, conservation surveys and collection care

  • Cataloging collections of three- and two-dimensional objects; creating records in the Museum's collection database (TMS)

  • Condition reporting, marking and housing objects

  • Participating in exhibit installation

  • Processing incoming and outgoing loan materials (producing reports; assisting in packing and unpacking objects) to gain exposure to the loan program and procedures

Museum Internships are positive learning experiences whether or not an intern has chosen a career in the museum field. One former Museum intern wrote: 

I enjoyed learning from the staff who worked with me and I anticipate getting much use out of the skills that I acquired during my internship. I was very fortunate to have this experience and find out for certain that a museum career is right for me. 


Postal Union Convention Badges 

a woman houses convention badges on blue board trays
Sarah houses the convention badges on blue board trays.

Sarah applied for an internship that would provide her with comprehensive experience in collections management. She was assigned to work with a newly acquired collection of 26 postal union convention badges—a project that allowed her to work with both the Museum's Registration and Preservation offices. 

Her primary responsibilities were to research, catalog, photograph and create permanent housing for each object. She was also given the opportunity to flatten the creased ribbon badges by using introductory conservation treatment techniques. 

During her summer at the National Postal Museum, Sarah learned a variety of new skills including object treatment, digital photography and object-specific storage design. 

". . .my internship at the National Postal Museum has provided me with experiences that I probably would not have obtained at many other museums." - Sarah 

If you would like like to learn more about internships at the National Postal Museum, please visit our main Internships page.