U.S. Citizen Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program – Onsite Internship 2022

  • Hosting Service Unit: All Library of Congress
  • Program Contact: AHHA@loc.gov
  • Interests/Areas of Study: American History; American Literature; Archival Collections; Art and Culture; Cataloguing; Collections Conservation and Preservation; Communications; Cultural Heritage; Digital Stewardship; Education; Exhibitions; Humanities; Library and Information Science; Museum Studies; Outreach; Performing Arts; Project Management; Public Relations; Research.
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
  • Application Period: Annually
  • Application Notes: Application Notes: The application for AHHA 2022 is closed. A complete application package consists of: 1) resume; 2): legible copy of latest college/university transcripts 3): names and contact information of two references, and 4): responses to vacancy questions. Note: All items must be submitted through USAJobs during the open application period. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.
  • Compensation: These internships are part-time, temporary staff positions at the GS-03/1 level (2022 General Schedule (GS) hourly pay rate of $15.60 per hour for 10 weeks).
  • Academic Credit: The Library does not provide academic credit, but you may arrange with your school in advance to receive credit.
  • Available Benefits: No Benefits
  • Program Duration: Short-term. Program Dates: 10 weeks: Monday, September 12, 2022 – Friday, November 18, 2022
  • Qualifications: Currently enrolled undergraduate juniors and seniors, masters and Ph.D. candidates from all majors or those who have graduated between December 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview:   

The Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) Internship Program gives the next generation of diverse archivists and knowledge workers invaluable opportunities to analyze, organize, and interpret collections or programs that help share an inclusive story of the American experience. Internships and projects will heighten visibility and promote accessibility for Library resources that more fully represent the rich cultural and creative heritage of the United States.

The program targets Black, Indigenous, and communities of color historically underrepresented in the United States and in the Library’s collections, i.e., enrolled students or recent graduates from minority-serving higher education institutions, such as Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions (ANNHs), American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs), and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

Program Focus:

AHHA offers undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate and doctoral students insights into the Library of Congress collections—the world's largest and most comprehensive repository of human knowledge. Interns will work under the supervision and guidance of a senior specialist and learn the standards and techniques to properly arrange and provide descriptions for archival collection materials.

The program focuses on building awareness of how unique historical records are analyzed, organized, and described in order to make them available for research and educational use. Interns will have the opportunity to explore historical documents representing rich cultural, creative, and intellectual resources, while working under the direction of library specialists in various divisions.

Interns will develop knowledge of the types of materials within the Library’s collections, including how they are collected, acquired, cataloged, preserved, interpreted, and shared, and the procedures governing their use; develop and maintain personal contacts and cooperative work relationships with librarians and others throughout the Library, with colleagues in other intern programs, and with subject matter experts to provide or exchange information; present information to groups and persons with similar understanding of the subject; and attend workshops, seminars, or meetings in relevant fields for professional development.

Of the People: Widening the Path

AHHA is a program within Of the People: Widening the Path, a multi-year initiative that creates new opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library of Congress and to add their perspectives to the Library’s collections, allowing the national library to share a more inclusive American story.

Supported by an institutional grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, Of the People: Widening the Path promotes outreach, technology innovation, and archives development for, and by, Black, Indigenous, and communities of color historically underrepresented in the United States and in the Library’s collections.

Under the direction of the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, and in response to the national conversation about civil rights, the Library continues to re-imagine how it can address the unequal ways in which libraries, archives, and schools preserve and present the American story.

As part of the Library’s vision to connect all Americans and to empower new generations and diverse audiences to explore its enduring treasury of information, Of the People will enhance and support diverse and inclusive participation in the creation and perpetuation of the nation’s historical and creative record.

Selection Process: Applications will be forwarded to selecting officials in the Library who will arrange telephone interviews with promising applicants, based on materials submitted. Letters of recommendation are not required for this application. After completion of the selection process those selected will be provided with detailed information on reporting for their internship.

A complete application package consists of: 1) resume; 2): legible copy of latest college/university transcripts 3): names and contact information of two references, and 4): responses to vacancy questions. Note: All items must be submitted through USAJobs during the open application period at this link.  Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

Onsite Projects for Fall 2022

The following 6 projects are on offer for 2022 onsite internships. All work for these projects will be completed entirely onsite within the Library’s Capitol Hill campus. Each intern will be assigned to work on one project as their primary responsibility, alongside other assignments that will introduce them to the range of LOC activity. Applicants will be asked to select their top two project choices in the application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once selected and hired for the internship, every effort will be made to accommodate project selections. Due to the popularity of some areas of interest, preferred project placement cannot be guaranteed. All project areas may not be available at the time applicants are selected and others may be added. Applicants should be sure to indicate two project areas of interest within their applications.

 

# 01 Uncovering Africa’s Literary Legacy in America - Onsite Internship (African and Middle East Division)

#02 Providing Access to the Records of the NAACP - Onsite Internship (Manuscript Division)

#03 Research, Reference, and Access - NAACP Records - Onsite Internship (Manuscript Division)

#04 The American Archive of Public Broadcasting Online Curation Project – Onsite Internship (National Audio-Visual Conservation Center)

#05 Visual Literacy: Critical Analysis and Enhanced Subject Indexing for Photographs of African Americans and Japanese Americans - Onsite Internship (Prints & Photographs Division)

#06 Youth and Family Program Development - Onsite Internship (Informal Learning Office)

 

Project Descriptions:

# 01 Uncovering Africa’s Literary Legacy in America - Onsite Internship (African and Middle East Division)

Project Description: The Omar Ibn Said Collection and “Conversations with African Poets and Writers” program series, along with relevant items dispersed throughout the Library of Congress, reveal an evolving legacy of African writing that demonstrates the rich heritage and literary traditions of people of African descent. Drawing from these sources, the project broadens awareness about the complex intellectual heritage of African Americans, the retention of Africanisms in America, and the critical role of African writing in influencing African American identity.  Additionally, the project facilitates heightened understanding of Africa’s literary traditions and their global impact to challenge dominant narratives and negative stereotypes about the histories, cultures, and peoples of African descent in America. The intern will uncover and interpret the story of African writing as written by Africans, enslaved Africans, and African Americans by probing materials and holdings relevant to Africa’s literary history, and completing essay commentaries, biographies and bibliographies, and literature reviews.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship:  Strong writing abilities; basic research and interpretation skills; ability to compile, organize, and interpret scholarly content; general understanding of African and African American history and culture with a particular emphasis on literary history and culture; general understanding of Arabic language reading, writing, and translation skills.

#02 Providing Access to the Records of the NAACP - Onsite Internship (Manuscript Division)

Project Description: The intern for this project will have the opportunity to learn and apply archival principles of arrangement and description and sharpen their skills to analyze the records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Manuscript Division’s largest and most accessed collection. They will acquire skills through hands-on learning under the guidance of an archives specialist while identifying, sorting, and describing the unprocessed records. The project experience will allow the intern to provide public access to a substantial addition to the records of the NAACP, which principally includes correspondence, writings and speeches, newspaper clippings, and other materials created by members and officers of the organization. Subject matter concerns civil rights, education, and racial segregation and desegregation. By the close of the project, the intern will share knowledge and lessons learned through an article on the division’s blog and a presentation to other Library staff.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship: Ability to plan work and meet deadlines; think critically and propose resolutions to problems; work effectively and collaboratively in a team setting, and ability to communicate in writing; knowledge of African American history and cultural heritage, and knowledge of a variety of office technology applications such as Microsoft Office Suite.

#03 Research, Reference, and Access - NAACP Records - Onsite Internship (Manuscript Division)

Project Description: The intern will work onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room researching the Library’s collection of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Records, the division’s largest and most frequently consulted collection. The intern will compare the arrangement of the physical collection to materials available on subscription databases. Working closely with that archival collection, they will create deliverables describing the collection’s arrangement and promote its accessibility. The results will include an orientation/tutorial for researchers about the NAACP Records and a blog post describing the internship and/or highlighting an interesting item discovered in the collection.  Additionally, the intern may participate in Library-sponsored panels or webinars to discuss their work. Aside from gaining expert archival and library skills and experience with project management and instruction, the intern’s activities will highlight a culturally important collection and show how that collection can inform and impact civic engagement in the present and future.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship: Experience using library databases; proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite; ability to plan work and meet deadlines; ability to work effectively and collaboratively in a team setting, and knowledge of African American history and cultural heritage.

#04 The American Archive of Public Broadcasting Online Curation Project – Onsite Internship (National Audio-Visual Conservation Center)

Project Description: The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Boston to digitally preserve public television and radio programs from the past 70 years and make them accessible again. The AAPB website includes special collections exploring how public broadcasting has covered topics of current and enduring concern. Each AHHA intern will work onsite to curate one or more new collections selected in consultation with the Project Mentor that relate to public broadcasting’s coverage of the histories and cultures of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, or historically underrepresented communities. The intern also will compile research to help AAPB staff target the preservation of additional programs relevant to the histories and cultures of those communities. The intern will gain skills researching, organizing, describing, and displaying audiovisual programs that more fully represent our nation’s diverse cultural heritage.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship: Ability to analyze and organize audiovisual items; ability to communicate effectively in writing; knowledge of U.S. history since 1950, with emphasis on history and culture of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, or historically underrepresented American communities.

#05 Visual Literacy: Critical Analysis and Enhanced Subject Indexing for Photographs of African Americans and Japanese Americans - Onsite Internship (Prints & Photographs Division)

Project Description: The Library of Congress visual material collections contain thousands of photographs and other pictorial representations of African Americans and Japanese Americans. This project is designed to build visual literacy skills—the ability to “read” pictures and understand the roles of photographers, clients, and available technology in communicating information. The intern will work with catalogers to develop subject-indexing skills resulting in enhanced description of online collections, including portraits of African American actors, artists, authors, and musicians taken by Carl Van Vechten during the Harlem Renaissance and documentary photographs of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II. Hands-on experience indexing photographs will be the bulk of the internship. Additionally, the intern will consider ways to revise descriptions of materials to highlight historically underrepresented communities and learn about evolving inclusive description practices. Indexing work done by the intern will become part of the Library’s online catalogs and will assist researchers worldwide.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship: Attention to detail with visual and textual materials and with data entry; interest in visual materials and/or history relating to diverse and/or historically underrepresented communities, and experience or familiarity with photography

#06 Youth and Family Program Development - Onsite Internship (Informal Learning Office)

Project Description: This project in the Informal Learning Office (ILO) supports the development of a 5,700 square foot experiential learning space opening in the Library of Congress Jefferson Building in 2024. During the onsite internship, the intern will learn about family visitors by staffing the temporary space for youth and families, the Young Readers Center-Program Lab (YRCPL), on weekdays and Saturdays. Based on their observations of visitors and knowledge of Library collections, the intern will develop two prototype “quests” and test them in the YRCPL. Supporting tasks might include primary source selection and excerpting, working with content specialist liaisons to identify contextualizing information, and writing materials to be used by children to access Library collections. The project focuses on adapting diverse Library materials for youth and promoting accessibility for that particular audience. The intern’s project work will connect children to a deeper and more enriched understanding of our country’s cultural record.

Skills and knowledge required before the internship: Experience with kids age 9-13, including children from historically underrepresented communities. This can include teaching or student teaching, child care, working at a camp, or volunteering at museums or other youth-serving institution that serves underrepresented children; degree or classes (either graduate or undergraduate) in Education, including museum education.

 

FAQs for AHHA

1. What is GS-03/01 pay?

These internships are part-time (20 hours per week), temporary staff positions at the GS-03/1 level.  The pay rate for onsite work in 2022 is $15.60 per hour.

2. What is the work schedule?

Interns work onsite 20 hours per week and determine with their Project Mentors the actual work schedule. With Project Mentor prior discussion and approval, interns may adjust their schedule within the Pay Period.

Those selected for this position must be available to work 20 hours per week for the entire 10 week program, Monday- Friday. One project, Youth and Family Program Development, requires Saturday hours.

Interns must be able to work part of their schedule within the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm Eastern Time and attend a mandatory orientation on September 13, 2021 (9:00am-12:00pm Eastern Time).  Interns must be able to report onsite for the entire duration of the internship.  

3. What is the location for this internship?

Onsite projects will be completed within the Library’s Capitol Hill campus. Depending on the project, interns will work in one of these three buildings:

  • Jefferson Building: 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC
  • Adams Building: 120 Second Street SE, Washington, DC
  • Madison Building: 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC

4. Do I need to provide a transcript?

Yes. A legible copy of your latest college/university transcripts is required with your online application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of application. Your transcript will be used to certify your eligibility for the program.

Official transcripts will be required if selected for the position. Transcripts must be issued by the college or university, and must include your name, the name of the institution, and the courses and course dates. Screenshots, Word or other text documents, and stand-alone course lists are not acceptable

Failure to submit the required legible documentation at the time of application will result in disqualification. If you do not have an unofficial transcript at your disposal, please submit another document from your institution and/or registrar’s office to certify your current enrollment.

5. What are the selecting officials looking for in the application?

Selecting officials will consider experience, education, and interests related to the projects. While not required, experience or education in cultural institution- related fields can be a plus.  

6. Is there a remote option for this internship?

Yes. AHHA 2022 is a hybrid program that includes remote and onsite projects.  

7. I am interested in more than one project for this program. Can I apply to more than one? Must I submit separate applications for each?

In the Vacancy Questions, you will be asked to select your two top project choices within the selected format (remote or onsite) and describe how your education, experience, interests and/or training align with your selected projects.

Submit only one application package per format.

If you are interested in remote and onsite projects, you must submit separate applications for each. Note that you can only be selected for one (remote or onsite).

8. 
Can I do two projects at the same time?

No. You can only work on one project for this internship. If you apply for a remote project and an onsite project and receive offers for both, you will need to choose one.

9. I have not started my academic program yet. I am already registered for classes. Am I still eligible to apply?

To be eligible, you do indeed need to be taking classes already, at the point of application (or be a recent graduate between December 2021- June 2022). While you are unfortunately not eligible for the fall 2022 session of AHHA, please do look for upcoming internship opportunities at the Library of Congress.

10. Do you provide housing?

No.

11. Do you provide transportation?

Onsite interns will receive a transit subsidy for local public transportation.

12. What steps should I take when preparing my application to make sure I qualify and meet the requirements for this opportunity?

Assess your schedule in advance as much as possible to make sure you are able to meet the 20 hour per/week time commitment within the hours of 9:30 am- 3:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday-Friday (and Saturdays, if applying for the Youth and Family Program Development project).

Thoroughly review the Qualifications section of the USAJobs Vacancy Announcement. 

Include and submit complete information for all required documents.

13. What are the Vacancy Questions required for this application? 

  • Describe how your education, experience, and/or training support the knowledge and skills required for your selected projects (2000 character limit).
  • Describe how the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program relates to your overall career goals and/or how you would benefit from working on your first and second choice projects (3500 character limit).
  • Describe your interest in and/or experience with diverse and/or historically underrepresented collections and/or programs (3500 character limit).

14. What should I include in my federal resume? 

  • Dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work experience.
  • Volunteer work and roles in community organizations.
  • Numbers, percentages, and/or dollars that highlight your accomplishments.

Find more details and guidance here: USAJOBS Help Center | What should I include in my federal resume?

15. How many academic credits do I receive in the program?

The Library of Congress is not an academic institution and does not grant course credits. However, you may check with your school about receiving credits for your fellowship if interested.

16. I am not available to start the internship on Monday, September 12, 2022. Am I still eligible?

No.  We require all interns to report on the same day, Monday, September 12, 2022 for a mandatory orientation from 9am-12pm Eastern Standard Time.  During the orientation, interns will meet Library staff and complete onboarding tasks.

17. I cannot work 20 hours/week for the 10 weeks of the program’s duration. Am I still eligible?

No. Unfortunately, hours are not flexible, but we encourage you to apply for other Library of Congress opportunities in the near future if your schedule aligns.

18. Is a background check required?

If you are selected, a background check will be required. You will be contacted by the Library’s Personnel Security Division with directions detailing how to proceed. Follow the directions carefully and complete the required tasks as soon as possible. Late submissions will impact the onboarding process.

19. Can my internship lead to a full-time job?

The internships come with no guarantee for permanent employment. However, we encourage those interested in careers at the Library of Congress to look at all job opportunities listed on the USAJOBS website and the Library’s Careers website. The new skills and experience gained during your time at the Library can be used as a stepping stone and the supervisor of your fellowship can be a valuable reference for your future job searches.

20. Will these internships be offered in the Spring/Summer?

As the program evolves, we are considering holding it during other seasons. For additional information about internships and fellowships at the Library of Congress, visit the Internship and Fellowship Program portal: https://www.loc.gov/ifp Click on the Overview tab to explore other internships at the Library of Congress.

21. How can I stay connected to the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program?

Subscribe to the Of the People blog, an active platform for AHHA intern spotlights, program resources, and new ways to engage with Library collections.