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HomeINTERNSHIPSArchives History and Heritage Advanced 2023 Internship Program

Archives History and Heritage Advanced 2023 Internship Program

Archives History and Heritage Advanced 2023 Internship Program

The Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) Internship Program gives the next generation of diverse archivists and knowledge workers invaluable opportunities to analyze, organize, and interpret collections or programs that help share an inclusive story of the American experience. Internships and projects will heighten visibility and promote accessibility for Library resources that more fully represent the rich cultural and creative heritage of the United States.

The program targets Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, and communities of color historically underrepresented in the United States and in the Library’s collections, i.e., enrolled students or recent graduates from minority-serving higher education institutions, such as Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions (ANNHs), American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs), and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

Program Focus

AHHA offers undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate and doctoral students insights into the Library of Congress collections—the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of human knowledge. Interns will work under the supervision and guidance of a senior specialist and learn the standards and techniques to properly arrange and provide descriptions for archival collection materials.

The program focuses on building awareness of how unique historical records are analyzed, organized, and described in order to make them available for research and educational use. Interns will have the opportunity to explore historical documents representing rich cultural, creative, and intellectual resources, while working under the direction of library specialists in various divisions.

Interns will develop knowledge of the types of materials within the Library’s collections, including how they are collected, acquired, cataloged, preserved, interpreted, and shared, and the procedures governing their use; develop and maintain personal contacts and cooperative work relationships with librarians and others throughout the Library, with colleagues in other intern programs, and with subject matter experts to provide or exchange information; present information to groups and persons with similar understanding of the subject; and attend workshops, seminars, or meetings in relevant fields for professional development.

Of the People: Widening the Path

AHHA is a program within Of the People: Widening the Path, a multi-year initiative that creates new opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library of Congress and to add their perspectives to the Library’s collections, allowing the national library to share a more inclusive American story.

Supported by an institutional grant from the Mellon Foundation, Of the People: Widening the Path promotes outreach, technology innovation, and archives development for, and by, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, and communities of color historically underrepresented in the United States and in the Library’s collections.

Under the direction of the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, and in response to the national conversation about civil rights, the Library continues to re-imagine how it can address the unequal ways in which libraries, archives, and schools preserve and present the American story.

As part of the Library’s vision to connect all Americans and to empower new generations and diverse audiences to explore its enduring treasury of information, Of the People will enhance and support diverse and inclusive participation in the creation and perpetuation of the nation’s historical and creative record.

Learn more about the AHHA experience by viewing videos and reading publications created by interns on the AHHA Overview page.

Selection Process: Applications will be forwarded to selecting officials in the Library who will arrange telephone or Zoom interviews with promising applicants, based on materials submitted. Letters of recommendation are not required for this application. After completion of the selection process those selected will be provided with detailed information on reporting for their internship.

A complete application package consists of: 1) resume; 2): legible copy of latest college/university transcripts 3): names and contact information of two references, and 4): responses to vacancy questions. Note: All items must be submitted through USAJobs during the open application period. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

Onsite Projects for 2023

The following 3 projects are on offer for 2023 onsite internships. All work for these projects will be completed entirely onsite within the Library’s Capitol Hill campus. Each intern will be assigned to work on one project as their primary responsibility, alongside other assignments that will introduce them to the range of LOC activity. Applicants will be asked to select their top two project choices in the application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once selected and hired for the internship, every effort will be made to accommodate project selections. Due to the popularity of some areas of interest, preferred project placement cannot be guaranteed. All project areas may not be available at the time applicants are selected and others may be added. Applicants should be sure to indicate two project areas of interest within their applications.

Project Descriptions

AHHA 2023 Projects

  • # 01 Providing Access to African American History and Culture within the Holdings of the Manuscript Division – Onsite Internship

    Project Description:

    Through hands-on learning under the guidance of an experienced archives specialist, this onsite project provides the intern with the opportunity to learn and apply archival standards and principles while processing and making available for research use several small, unprocessed accessions forming part of the Manuscript Division’s Black history collection. In addition to physical processing tasks, the intern will analyze and identify subject content found in the materials, most of which date from the period before the American Civil War. The content relates to the auction and sale of enslaved people, legal matters involving enslaved and free Black men, African American participation in the U.S. Army, and African American life and culture in the American South prior to emancipation. By the close of the project, the intern will share knowledge and lessons learned both via an article on the division’s blog and by means of a presentation to other Library staff.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Ability to plan work and meet deadlines; think critically and propose resolutions to problems; work effectively and collaboratively in a team setting, and ability to communicate in writing. Knowledge of African American history and culture and familiarity with a variety of office technology applications, such as Microsoft Office Suite.

  •  #02 Enriching Subject Access to Historically Underrepresented Communities in the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection – Onsite Internship

    Project Description:

    Prints and Photographs collections at the Library of Congress contain tens of thousands of images of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and other historically underrepresented people. The metadata for these images is often limited to outdated language in the original caption text; adding contemporary vocabulary will expand access to fascinating photographs that provide many insights into American history and cultures. In this project, the intern will work onsite to develop visual literacy, analytical, and indexing skills, which they will use to update the metadata. In addition, they will contribute to the development of inclusive description practices for visual materials. With guidance from a senior cataloger, the intern will use indexing skills to identify and enhance hundreds of Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) collection catalog records. The intern’s work will make a valuable contribution to connecting all Americans to a deeper and more enriched understanding of the country’s cultural record.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Attention to detail in visual and textual materials, curiosity, and experience with data entry; interest in visual materials and historically underrepresented communities. Experience or familiarity with photography can be helpful.

  • # 03 Engaging Diverse Youth & Families in a Public Experiential Learning Space – Onsite Internship

    Project Description:

    The Informal Learning Office (ILO) is seeking an intern to support the development of a 5,700 square foot experiential learning space opening to the public in 2025. During this internship, the intern will learn about family visitors by staffing the temporary space for youth and families, the Young Readers Center-Program Lab (YRCPL), on weekdays and Saturdays. The intern will have an integral role in connecting children from diverse communities to a more enriched understanding of our country’s cultural record. Based on observations of visitors and knowledge of Library collections, the intern will develop prototype materials to test with children and families in the YRCPL. Tasks include primary source selection and excerpting, working with content specialists to identify contextualizing information, and writing materials for children to access Library collections that stem from underrepresented communities. This project heightens visibility and promotes accessibility of diverse Library materials through its specific focus on adapting and interpreting content for a youth audience.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Experience with kids age 9-13. This can include teaching or student teaching, child care, working at a camp, or volunteering at museums or other youth-serving institutions; degree or classes (either graduate or undergraduate) in History, Education, Museum Studies, Museum education, Library Science or related field.

Remote Projects for 2023

The following 3 projects are on offer for 2023 remote internships. All work for these projects will be completely remotely. Each intern will be assigned to work on one project as their primary responsibility, alongside other assignments that will introduce them to the range of LOC activity. Applicants will be asked to list their top two project choices in the application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once selected and hired for the internship, every effort will be made to accommodate project selections. Due to the popularity of some areas of interest, preferred project placement cannot be guaranteed. All project areas may not be available at the time applicants are selected and others may be added. Applicants should be sure to indicate two project areas of interest within their applications.

Project Descriptions

  • # 01 Discovering African Americans in the Blair Family Papers – Remote Internship

    Project Description:

    While much is known about the politically and socially prominent white family members represented in the Blair Family Papers, far less is known about the enslaved and free African Americans with whom the Blairs interacted and wrote about in their correspondence. This remote project will explore the primary source material in the online Blair Family Papers to identify the African Americans represented in the collection. The intern will use available remote resources to conduct research on these individuals to further document their respective lives, and thus make the Blair Family Papers more accessible as a source of African American history. The intern will gain an appreciation of how to locate underrepresented voices in archival collections, hone their research skills in primary and secondary sources, and advance their understanding of 19th-century America.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Ability to read challenging 19th century handwriting (see as an example; no transcriptions are available for the bulk of this collection); good research skills; the ability to organize information, and to work independently; basic knowledge of 19th-century United States history and African American history.

  • #02 Project Description: Supporting Culturally Relevant Pedagogy with Library of Congress Digital Collections – Remote Internship

    Project Description:

    This internship heightens awareness of Library of Congress digital collections among educators who seek archival materials with which to teach the history of communities of color. The project connects teachers and students to the Library’s digital collections by demonstrating how this institution has preserved and makes available the cultural records of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, Asian and other communities of color. The intern will engage with educators associated with the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program to devise approaches and materials to teach with these resources effectively. Working remotely, the AHHA intern will collaborate with Library staff and TPS Consortium members to identify materials and K-12 classroom strategies that use digitized Library resources to support culturally relevant pedagogy. Through this project, the intern will gain an understanding of the Library’s digital collections relating to communities of color while encouraging a greater understanding of a more inclusive history that serves as the basis for future study and informed civic engagement.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Ability to conduct searches of online archival collections; strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work collaboratively; knowledge of K-12 teaching and curriculum, and awareness of history and culture of at least one underrepresented community of color.

  • #03 Elevating Diverse Literary Voices from the Library of Congress Recorded Archives – Remote Internship

    Project Description:

    The Library’s digital archives contain hundreds of video records of authors’ appearances at the National Book Festival and other literary programs. Most videos are 45+ minutes long; this project distills content, makes it more visible and accessible, and creates opportunities for deeper engagement with the Library’s collections. The intern will highlight twelve author talks featuring writers who are Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and from other underrepresented communities, and add connections to LOC’s collections. The intern will assist in selecting the videos and the best segments to embed into each blog and share on social media. Additionally, the intern will write the context for each talk and encourage additional foray into LOC collections. The intern will gain research skills, expand communication and planning skills, learn how to write public-facing text for a cultural institution, and deepen their knowledge of diverse voices that are published in the current literary world.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Academic research, writing, and journalism skills (such as proofreading and fact checking), communications, attention to detail; interest in and general knowledge of diverse, contemporary authors.

    #04 Leveraging Collection Data to Enable New Forms of Storytelling and Research – Remote Internship

    Project Description:

    Mary Church Terrell, the founding president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founder of the NAACP, spent her life fighting for the causes of universal suffrage, and the freedom and equality of men and women of all colors. In 2021, volunteers helped transcribe the Mary Church Terrell Papers, a collection of serials, bound volumes, clippings, programs, and flyers which attest to Terrell’s lifelong interest in education and advocacy for women’s equality, African American civil rights, and international human rights. Working remotely, the AHHA intern will collaborate with Library staff to explore how the transcripts of this important collection could enable new forms of storytelling, visualization, and creative research that would deepen and enrich our understanding of Terrell and the lasting impact of her work. Through this project, the intern will gain a deep understanding of how historical records can be made accessible to a broad public audience.

    Skills and knowledge required before the internship:

    Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, strong written and verbal communication, ability to think critically and creatively to propose resolutions to problems; knowledge of African American history and cultural heritage.

AHHA Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is GS-03/01 pay?These internships are part-time (20 hours per week), temporary staff positions at the 2023 GS-03/1 level.

    Onsite projects: The pay rate for onsite work in 2023 is $16.36 hour.

    Remote projects: Interns will be paid at the 2023 General Schedule (GS) hourly pay rate based on the location where the work is performed.

    Example: If you perform the work from Washington, DC, your pay breakdown will be: $16.36/hour; $327.20/week; $3,272 for 10 weeks.

    Find your location and its accompanying hourly pay rate here:

  2. What is the work schedule?Interns work onsite 20 hours per week and determine with their Project Mentors the actual work schedule. With Project Mentor prior discussion and approval, interns may adjust their schedule within the Pay Period.

    Those selected for this position must be available to work 20 hours per week for the entire 10 week program, Monday- Friday. Interns must be able to work part of their schedule within the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm Eastern Time and attend a mandatory orientation on September 11, 2023 (9:00am-12:00pm Eastern Time). Interns must be able to report onsite for the entire duration of the internship.

    Onsite Project # 03 – Engaging Diverse Youth & Families in a Public Experiential Learning Space – requires Saturday work.

  3. What is the location for this internship?Onsite projects will be completed within the Library’s Capitol Hill campus. Depending on the project, interns will work in one of these three buildings:
    • Jefferson Building: 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC
    • Adams Building: 120 Second Street SE, Washington, DC
    • Madison Building: 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC

    Remote projects will be completed throughout the continental U.S.

  4. Do I need to provide a transcript?Yes. A legible copy of your latest college/university transcripts is required with your online application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of application. Your transcript will be used to certify your eligibility for the program.

    Official transcripts will be required if selected for the position. Transcripts must be issued by the college or university, and must include your name, the name of the institution, and the courses and course dates. Screenshots, Word or other text documents, and stand-alone course lists are not acceptable. 

    Failure to submit the required legible documentation at the time of application will result in disqualification. If you do not have an unofficial transcript at your disposal, please submit another document from your institution and/or registrar’s office to certify your current enrollment.

  5. What are the selecting officials looking for in the application? Selecting officials will consider experience, education, and interests related to the projects. While not required, experience or education in cultural institution- related fields can be a plus.
  6. I am interested in more than one project for this program. Can I apply to more than one? Must I submit separate applications for each?In the Vacancy Questions, you will be asked to select your two top project choices within the selected format (remote or onsite) and describe how your education, experience, interests and/or training align with your selected projects.

    Submit only one application package per format.

    If you are interested in remote and onsite projects, you must submit separate applications for each. Note that you can only be selected for one (remote or onsite).

  7. Can I do two projects at the same time?No. You can only work on one project for this internship. If you apply for a remote project and an onsite project and receive offers for both, you will need to choose one.
  8. I have not started my academic program yet. I am already registered for classes. Am I still eligible to apply?To be eligible, you do indeed need to be taking classes already, at the point of application (or be a recent graduate between December 2022- August 2023). While you are unfortunately not eligible for the fall 2023 session of AHHA, please do look for upcoming internship opportunities at the Library of Congress.
  9. Do you provide housing?No.
  10. Do you provide transportation?Onsite interns are eligible to receive a transit subsidy for local public transportation.
  11. What steps should I take when preparing my application to make sure I qualify and meet the requirements for this opportunity?Assess your schedule in advance as much as possible to make sure you are able to meet the 20 hour per/week time commitment within the hours of 9:30 am- 3:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

    Review the AHHA 2023 How to Apply Guide for step-by-step guidelines on preparing and submitting your application.

  12. What are the Vacancy Questions required for this application?
    • Describe how your education, experience, and/or training support the knowledge and skills required for your selected projects (2000 character limit).
    • Describe how the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program relates to your overall career goals and/or how you would benefit from working on your first and second choice projects (3500 character limit).
    • Describe your interest in and/or experience with diverse and/or historically underrepresented collections and/or programs (3500 character limit).

    We highly recommend that you craft responses that best demonstrate your writing skills. Selecting officials may consider your responses as writing samples, especially for projects that culminate in intern-produced written publications.

  13. What should I include in my federal resume?
    • Dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work experience.
    • Volunteer work and roles in community organizations.
    • Numbers, percentages, and/or dollars that highlight your accomplishments.

    Find more details and guidance here: USAJOBS Help Center | What should I include in my federal resume?

  14. How many academic credits do I receive in the program?The Library of Congress is not an academic institution and does not grant course credits. However, you may check with your school about receiving credits for your fellowship if interested.
  15. I am not available to start the internship on Monday, September 11, 2023. Am I still eligible?No.  We require all interns to report on the same day, Monday, September 11, 2023 for a mandatory orientation from 9am-12pm Eastern Standard Time.  During the orientation, interns will meet Library staff and complete onboarding tasks.
  16. I cannot work 20 hours/week for the 10 weeks of the program’s duration. Am I still eligible?No. Unfortunately, hours are not flexible, but we encourage you to apply for other Library of Congress opportunities in the near future if your schedule aligns.
  17. Is a background check required?If you are selected, a background check will be required. You will be contacted by the Library’s Personnel Security Division with directions detailing how to proceed. Follow the directions carefully and complete the required tasks as soon as possible. Late submissions will impact the onboarding process.
  18. I will be living overseas during the fall of 2023. Can I still apply?No. Interns must be located in the continental U.S. for the entire duration of the internship.
  19. Can my internship lead to a full-time job?The internships come with no guarantee for permanent employment. However, we encourage those interested in careers at the Library of Congress to look at all job opportunities listed on the USAJOBS website and the Library’s Careers website. The new skills and experience gained during your time at the Library can be used as a stepping stone and the supervisor of your fellowship can be a valuable reference for your future job searches.
  20. Will these internships be offered in the Spring/Summer?As the program evolves, we are considering holding it during other seasons. For additional information about internships and fellowships at the Library of Congress, visit the Internship and Fellowship Program portal: Click on the Overview tab to explore other internships at the Library of Congress.
  21. How can I stay connected to the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program?Subscribe to the Of the People blog, an active platform for AHHA intern spotlights, program resources, and new ways to engage with Library collections.

For more Information: Visit Source

Israel Wellington Jeremiah
Israel Wellington Jeremiah
I work to provide access to global experiences to all through educational opportunities like scholarships, training and conferences, fellowships, grants and awards, jobs, internships , learnerships and volunteer programs.