General Internship Program

Opportunities for our General Internship program are posted here when available. Although most are part-time and in the DC area, please note the specific hours and geographic location for each. While most are unpaid learning experiences, we are happy to work with a student’s college or university to help them obtain credit. 

Applications for all projects will be collected through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System ( Be sure to select "Smithsonian Institution Libraries" as the unit and "Smithsonian Institution Libraries Internship Program" as the program. You may then select the applicable projects.  Applications should include an essay detailing your academic and career goals and what you hope to learn through this internship, as well as a resume, academic transcripts and two references. 

Spring 2020 Opportunities are now open. Apply by December 2nd, 2019 for best consideration. Project details below.

Donor Stewardship Program Development 
Location: Advancement Department, Washington  DC 

The Advancement Department seeks an intern to provide support in donor stewardship. The intern will have the opportunity to draft donor correspondence, create innovative and creative donor stewardship pieces and programs, learn about the process of writing and creating funding proposals, and learn about fundraising and stewardship as a field, an ever-growing and important area of library and museum work.  

The intern will work closely with all members of the SIL Advancement team, and have the opportunity to build relationships within the Director's Office as a whole and across the Smithsonian Libraries.  

Understanding and participating in fundraising has become more important for librarians especially those interested in special collections and library administration. This internship will give insight into the fundraising operations for the largest museum library system in the world. 

This opportunity would be ideal for an undergraduate or graduate student in libraries, information science or a related discipline. Candidate should have excellent oral and written communication skills and moderate to advanced proficiency in Microsoft products, especially Excel and Power Point, and graphic design. Preference for individuals with fundraising experience working with donors, board members or friends groups. 

Researching Art Ephemera Legacy Collections
Location: American Art/Portrait Gallery Library, Washington DC 

The internship is available for undergrad or graduate students enrolled or recently graduated from a degree program in library science, archives track, or art history. Intern should have good organizational skills and attention to detail and accuracy. Interns should have knowledge of library research methods. Interest in solving mysteries a plus! 

From its inception, the American Art & Portrait Gallery (AAPG) Library has collected ephemera from donors, curators, and other departments from within the Smithsonian to support American Art research. The intern will help process some of these legacy collections into the AAPG Art and Artist File Collections. Processing will include intensive art historical research to determine whether the materials are appropriate for our collection and keep detailed statistics. Additionally, the intern will consider archival and library best practices when adding new materials including removal of corrosive materials and housing. This will allow important hidden materials to be organized and accessible. 

Through this opportunity, the student will learn collection analysis techniques for a fine arts museum library and will have the opportunity to expand knowledge of the core research materials related to artists, movements, history, and theory. The intern will learn more about higher degrees of art historical research through researching the materials. 

Social Media
Location: Smithsonian Libraries Outreach Office (National Museum of Natural History Building) and virtual

The Smithsonian Libraries seeks a student with a background or interest in cultural heritage and communications to help create and organize social media content. This position would work closely with the Outreach Librarian to evaluate the unit’s current social media practices, research and draft social media posts and help determine the best way to organize content.  

This position would be ideal for either an undergraduate Communications or Marketing student with a strong interest in history, libraries or cultural heritage, or a Masters Library and Information Science candidate with a desire to gain experience in Outreach and Communications. Experience researching and creating social media content on history, art or science topics and knowledge of Hootsuite are preferred.  

During this part-time opportunity, the intern will learn how the Libraries shares its collections and programs with online audiences, sharpen their research and writing skills while crafting social media content, and gain experience using Hootsuite as a content management and planning tool.  The student would be expected to report in-person one day a week, with other hours performed virtually.  

World of Maps
Details on project description page.  

Additional Information

Application Materials

  • Application
  • Resume detailing your experience, career interests and internship goals
  • Unofficial Academic Transcriptions from all colleges/universities attended
  • Cover letter describing how academic goals, qualifications and career aspirations relate to the internship at Smithsonian Libraries
  • Contact information for two professional or academic references (an automated survey will be send by the application system).

All applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system: . Applicants should be sure to choose "Smithsonian Institution Libraries" as the unit, "Smithsonian Institution Libraries Internship" as the program and then their preferred projects.

Further inquiries about Smithsonian Libraries Internships should be directed to Erin Clements Rushing (

Additional information about the Libraries internship program may be found online: