- Please read about how to submit your application on our website. We will not review applications submitted via Handshake; we will only review applications submitted via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment Database.
- Depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Spring 2021 internship may be virtual, in-person, or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual); if you have a preference for one or the other, please include that in your learning goals essay for your application.
- Any in-person or hybrid experience may be converted to virtual or postponed to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns. The internship application deadline for Spring 2021 will be Monday, October 26th at 2 PM EST.
- All accepted interns will have the option to apply for an internship stipend based on disclosed financial need after their selection.
The Office of Curatorial Affairs (OCA) preserves, documents, interprets, and makes accessible the collections and scholarship of the museum in support of the museum’s mission and in accord with standards of quality and practice that maintain the museum’s leadership in the field. The office provides vision for the museum’s collections, research, and exhibition development activities; coordinates and integrates activities in the departments of history and collections management services and ensures responsible and coordinated management of resources within and between these two departments; and aids all of curatorial affairs in prioritizing projects and program activities.
Within the Office of Curatorial Affairs, there are several teams:
- Archives Center
- Division of Cultural and Community Life
- Division of Medicine and Science
- Division of Political and Military History
- Division of Work and Industry
- Collections Management Services
- Digital Program Office
- Offsite Programs and Projects
- Preservation Services
- Exhibitions and Collections Management Office
- Department of Affiliations
Interested in submitting an OCA application?
In your learning goals essay, be sure to specify which specific division(s) within the larger Office of Curatorial Affairs you would like to intern with! Here are some tips for your application:
- Some of our OCA teams, such as the Archives Center, may already be recruiting for an internship; check out upcoming NMAH internship opportunities to learn more!
- Interested in a particular curatorial division, such as the Division of Work and Industry? Explain in your essay why you’re interested in learning more about their particular work and collection!
- Interested in our preservation services teams? Be sure to include informal skills in your resume, too, such as hand skills (sewing, knitting, etc.) as well as any formal object conservation experience you may have.
- Try to include in your essay some sort of focus–in historical topic or theme, particular museums skills, or collections–so that the Interns & Fellows Program Manager can make sure your application is sent to the best possible mentor match!
If you have any questions about the internship, please contact Caroline Fiertz, Interns & Fellows Program Manager at the National Museum of American History, at NMAHintern@si.edu or 202-633-3556.