Spring 2024 Collections Internship

Job Summary

Contract Type
9000 US Dollar stipend
Closing date

Job Details

The Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) is the center for specialized technical collections research and conservation for the Smithsonian museums and collections. MCI holds research collections and oversees regular movement of objects and samples from institutions utilizing MCI's services. In 2019 MCI began the process of creating its Collections Management Policy. This led to the implementation of TMS for management of collections, research of storage options, and development of collections management procedures.

MCI is looking for a Spring intern (January to May) to engage in a learning opportunity geared toward understanding collections management and registration methods. This internship will primarily be onsite at MCI, located at the SI Museum Support Center in Suitland, MD (Metro and SI shuttle accessible) with some telework options.

MCI is a unique collection that is non-traditional compared to other museums and cultural heritage sites.

Projects will include assisting with:
1. Updating of database entries with both digital and hard copy files
2. Assisting with filing away project related documents
3. Sorting, researching, and cataloging abandoned collections
4. Cataloging MCI collections
5. Collections rehousing
6. Assisting with inventory management

Required Skills:
1. General understanding of museum collections information systems (TMS preferred, but
not required)
2. General knowledge of museum collections management and registration methods
3. Self-motivated and able to be proactive with communication on project updates and
4. Detail oriented and patient

Learning Objectives:
The intern will learn to integrate legacy project files into The Museum System (TMS); this will include, but is not limited to, creating TMS records, adding project detailed information, updating file names to MCI standards, and working with SI's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) to import information.

Through this internship the intern will receive direct mentorship from the Head of Conservation and Collections Manager. While the intern may have an academic understanding of collections management and registration, they will learn how to develop feasible collection management protocols in an institution. A critical aspect of their learning will be understanding the realities of collections stewardship practice within an organization without a permanent collection. The internship will serve to further develop critical thinking skills in adapting collection management practice to a conservation and scientific research setting.

TMS records entered by the interns will be quality checked by the Collections Manager, and feedback given to ensure they have a deep understanding of the process. Further, the interns will learn about networking and the breadth of communication and collaboration required for large projects in large institutions (including, but not limited to: Administration, Scientists and Researchers, Conservators, Information specialist, Collections managers (MCI and SI), data managers (CIS/TMS, DAMS, SIdora, etc.), National Collections Program, and Office of General Counsel). The interns are expected to give a professional presentation or final report at the conclusion of their project on their contributions to MCI and what they learned.

Interested candidates should send to Jessica S. Johnson (johnsonjs@si.edu) a resume and a one (1) page essay that addresses what they hope to accomplish through an internship, and how it would relate to their academic and career goals. Please write "Spring Internship" in subject line for attention.

Deadline for applications: November 17, 2023

Stipend: $9,000 (400 hours)

This is a 16-week part-time internship (20 – 24 hours per week). On average the intern is expected to spend two days a week onsite at MCI and one day working from home.