Academic Credit AFC Folklife Internships

  • General Website:
  • Program Website:
  • Hosting Service Unit: Library Services
  • Program Contact: John Fenn
  • Interests/Areas of Study: Humanities, art and culture; Library sciences.
  • Citizenship: Visa Holder
  • Application Period: Annually
  • Application Notes: Summer 2020 Internship - Starting Dates: Either June 8, June 22, or July 6, 2020. Each internship extends for ten weeks from chosen starting date. -- -- Application Open/Close Date: 1/23/2020 to 02/28/2020 -- The project names for 2020 are listed below. For further information on any project, please contact the American Folklife Center: or 202-707-5510. -- #01 – AIDS Memorial Quilt records: Assist archives staff with processing the AIDS Memorial Quilt records. The collection includes correspondence, administrative records, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material that document the creation, marketing, and exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Also included are records related directly to persons listed on the quilts, including correspondence, photographs, tributes, epitaphs, news clippings, and artifacts submitted by panel-makers to add context about the lives of the persons in the quilt. The intern may also be asked to assist archivists with a handful of other collections needing rehousing or audio logging. -- #02 – Reference and Researcher Support: Assist archives reference staff in providing reference services and developing subject guides (LibGuides) related to AFC’s archival collections. Conduct research using primary and secondary resources for a variety of Library users. Assist with displays, group presentations, and other public engagement initiatives. -- #03 – Web Cultures Web Archive collection engagement: Work with AFC staff to design a strategy for engaging potential researchers with the Web Cultures Web Archive digital collection. Responsibilities will include researching the collection, identifying key constituent groups of researchers, identifying collection gaps, developing engagement opportunities, and contributing to communications campaigns using various channels and platforms used by AFC. -- #04– Chicago Ethnic Arts Collection and Story Maps: Assist AFC staff on designing and implementing a set of curated digital publications via the LC Story Maps portal (an intuitive web-based platform). Responsibilities will include researching the collection, identifying and gathering digital assets, developing curatorial narratives, and creating Story Maps. Training on the platform will be provided. Source material will come from the online collection:
  • Compensation: GS 01
  • Academic Credit: The Library does not provide academic credit, but you may arrange with your school in advance to receive credit.
  • Available Benefits: Transit. Sick leave accrual.
  • Program Duration: Short-term. 10 weeks in summer
  • Qualifications: Demonstrated KSAs; availability in summer for 10 weeks
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Summary:  The Folklife Internship provides experiences in archival practice, cultural heritage research, and programming, while building participants’ knowledge about ethnographic materials. AFC staff supervise work on projects aligned with the successful applicant’s qualifications and interests. US citizens currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school are invited to apply for consideration, as are community scholars or other individuals with experience working in the heritage sector.

Responsibilities:  This program offers participants insights into the environment and activities of the American Folklife Center, which pairs robust cultural programming with the world's largest ethnographic archive. Interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of public programs and archives work: artist liaison, production, preservation, reference, access standards, and information management. Depending on the specific project they are assigned, interns will assist staff with coordinating and producing public programs; archival processing of special collections in many different formats; managing digital outreach activities and communications; or supporting reference and research activities. Near the end of their appointment at the Library, the interns will reflect on their projects and experiences by producing a blog post, as well as a presentation for AFC staff.