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Archival Internship

Students or recent graduates of library science, history, or Jewish studies with a reading knowledge of German are encouraged to apply for archival internships at the Leo Baeck Institute.

The LBI regularly provides unpaid archival internships located at the Center for Jewish History in New York for students of library science or related disciplines such as history or Jewish studies.

The bulk of the intern’s duties consist of accessioning and/or processing archival collections to facilitate research. Tasks may include includes (re)boxing; (re)labeling; assigning new easily traced locations; and writing new finding aids for new acquisitions or existing collections.

The writing of finding aids is considered the key component in the work of an archival intern at the LBI. It involves identifying and classifying the original material, putting it in an order that makes it accessible for researchers, and describing it in a way that allows researchers to understand the topics addressed in the collection.

At times, the intern may encounter fragile and rare items in the archival collections, which they remove for preservation measures. In some cases, interns learn basic conservation techniques that they can perform themselves.

Additional tasks performed by interns include:

  • Paging archival and library materials for patrons using the Institute’s research facility. In order to page in the archives, the intern is required to learn the complex system by which archival collections are organized, in addition to being well organized so that material is removed and re-shelved in correct order and placement.
  • Providing assistance in preparing art and archival material for exhibition loans to museums. He or she works closely with the archivists and the registrar to locate and prepare for shipping the objects desired by the museums for their displays.
  • Answering reference and research requests. The intern sometimes performs research in order to locate requested materials, often communicating several times with patrons to ascertain precisely what they require and fulfill the requests.

Interns are asked to work 38 hours per week. Daily transportation within New York City is remunerated.

Basic reading knowledge of German is required.

As the internship is unpaid, we do not expect our interns to stay long-term, but we request a minimum commitment of three months. We do not have an academic advisor on staff, but we are willing to work with your advisor to ensure that the internship counts as credit toward a degree.

To apply please e-mail your resume and cover letter to Michael Simonson at