American Antiquarian Society

by justineh

PICS Organization Name
American Antiquarian Society

Website
http://www.americanantiquarian.org

City/State
Worcester, Massachusetts

Weekly Stipend
Approx. $513

Public Transportation
No

Housing Provided
No

Former Interns
Sadie Van Vraken '19, Claire Jones '18

Organization Description
History matters. This has been forcibly demonstrated in recent political discussions, many of which are tied to African Americans experiences. At the American Antiquarian Society you can be a part of the collecting, preserving, and making available all of our American stories. 

The American Antiquarian Society is an independent historical research library focused on early American history, literature, and culture. AAS is located in Worcester, MA, approximately 45 miles west of Boston. The Society is world-renowned for its preeminent collection of the earliest printing from what became the United States. Since our founding in 1812, the AAS’s mission has been to collect, preserve, and make available for study one copy of every item printed in what is now the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean from European contact to 1876. Thus far we have collected and house on-site four million items, and include manuscripts, newspapers and periodicals, printed books and pamphlets, and graphic arts materials.

Our plan with this internship is to take a smart, curious college student and set them free on a subject area within our collections. AAS has done this with great success for our Judaica and portions of our African American holdings in the past. For the 2019 internship, AAS would like to focus on our Caribbean holdings. Improving access and knowledge regarding these critical historical materials is not only important for scholarship, but also for present-day cultural pride and advocacy.

The student intern will gain subject expertise, will assist in building the Society's collections, and will help innovate creative ways to promote the type of research that can be done at the American Antiquarian Society.

Internship Description
A student interested in a possible career in libraries, museums, history, and/or academia will gain valuable professional experience with demonstrable results by the end of the summer. Under the direct supervision of the curator of books, the intern will assist in the research and acquisition of new items for the collection. He or she will help improve the descriptions of African American and Caribbean resources already held at AAS, using information found in published bibliographies and catalog records. Much of the work will be done at the computer, but the intern will also have plenty of opportunity to use the actual historical books and pamphlets and even to conduct original research. An off-site field trip or two (paid, during work hours) will be planned to build relationships with other comparable institutions. 

Takeaways from the internship may include, depending on the intern's interests: 

  • a seminar presentation to staff and fellows, 
  • an online exhibition, 
  • posts on the Society’s blog, or
  • highlights on the AAS Instagram feed. (It’s really worth checking out, if we do say so ourselves: https://instagram.com/americanantiquarian/.)

The AAS African American Resources Intern will be part of a lively intellectual community of scholars, curators, and librarians, as well as a cohort of other summer college interns in various departments at the Society. Brief conservation training of all the summer staff is conducted together with the other interns and opportunities for socializing outside of work hours abound in Worcester and nearby Boston.

Internship Qualifications
A student interested in a possible career in libraries, museums, history, and/or academia will gain valuable professional experience with demonstrable results by the end of the summer. The AAS Intern will actively contribute to building and organization of a world-class collection under the direct supervision of the curator of books. The intern will assist in the research and acquisition of new items for the collection by searching book dealers’ catalogs and online listings for books and pamphlets of interest for AAS to purchase. He or she will help improve the descriptions of Caribbean resources already held at AAS, using information found in published bibliographies and perhaps even adding additional information to AAS online catalog records. Much of the work will be done at the computer, but the intern will also have plenty of opportunity to use the actual historical books and pamphlets. He or she will even have the opportunity to conduct original research. An off-site field trip or two (during regular paid work hours) to build relationships with other comparable institutions also will be planned. Depending on the interests and skills of the intern, possible takeaways from the internship may include a short presentation to staff and fellows, an online exhibition (http://www.americanantiquarian.org/judaica-1841-1876 or http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Reading/), highlights on the Society’s Instagram feed (https://instagram.com/americanantiquarian/) or posts on the Society’s blog (http://pastispresent.org/?s=intern).

The AAS Intern will be part of a lively intellectual community of scholars, curators, and librarians, as well as a cohort of other summer college interns in various departments at the Society. Brief conservation training of all the summer staff is conducted together and opportunities for socializing outside of work hours abound in Worcester and nearby Boston.An interest in history, especially early African American and/or Caribbean history is a required. Strong research and writing skills are also essential.

Expected Start Time
9:00 am

Expected End Time
5:00 pm

Required Dates
No earlier than May 30 - no later than August 23

Internship Length
8 Weeks

Meets Certificate Requirement
No

Additional Info
Worcester is home to 9 colleges and universities, some of which provide summer housing for outside students.

Evaluation Excerpt

Best work experience - tracking down obscure authors and printers using ancestry records and book-history reference works.
—Claire Jones '18

My time at AAS helped me to grow as a scholar and pushed me forward in my ability to articulately communicate about my thoughts and questions, as well as grow as an independent thinker. —Sadie Van Vraken '19

Applications for Summer 2019 will open in November 2018. 

Apply

To read evaluations written by former interns, please contact the
Student Program

Coordinator

Make sure to read the eligibility criteria and requirements prior to submitting an application. Here