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Archival Processing Internship Opportunity at the Leo Baeck Institute

The Leo Baeck Institute, located at the Center for Jewish History, is an archival repository and library devoted to German-Jewish speaking history from earliest times up to and through the Holocaust. The bulk of the archival material is from 1880 – 1980.

We are currently seeking German and Austrian students for an archival intern to work with us. This internship is unpaid, but we hope valuable for a German or Austrian student whose focus is on archival work, history studies, or Jewish studies.

The bulk of the internship consists of processing and accessioning archival collections following the standards as set by the Society of American Archivists. The requirements of processing are manifold. The intern is given old and new acquisitions to arrange (or rearrange) in an order that facilitates research. This task includes (re)boxing; (re)labeling; and devising new finding aids for the collections. Each of these components is time-consuming and requires strict attention to detail. The writing of finding aids is considered the key component in the work of an archival intern at the Leo Baeck Institute: a product of studying and classifying the original material, putting it in an order that makes it accessible for researchers, and describing it in a way that allows the researchers to know if it has material related to their specific needs. The intern will be trained each step of this process. Upon the end of the internship, the intern will have the skills needed to process archival collections following the SAA standards.

The intern will encounter fragile and rare items in the archival collections and is expected to be sensitive to the careful treatment of such documents; training in some basic conservation techniques will be provided.

A number of smaller tasks are also conducted by interns:

  • 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 reshelved 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 of the Art Department to locate and prepare for shipping the objects desired by the museums for their displays.
  • Handling research requests. The intern sometimes performs research in order to locate the materials that the requestors want, often communicating several times with them to ascertain precisely what they require and fulfill the requests.

We ask for a set time of 38 hours / week for a period of three months as a minimum. The only exception to this flexibility is December. There will be no internships taking place over that month.

The internship is unpaid, but we can provide a monthly commuter pass, allowing free access to bus and train while working with us in New York.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter to Mr. Michael Simonson, Archivist, at