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Information Regarding Internships Available Through the Visual Resource Center in the Department of Art History beginning Winter ‘18

AHS 198/ Individual Internship (1-12)

Current Catalog Description:   research, variable. Pre-requisite(s): consent of instructor and upper-division standing. Individual study or apprenticeship in a museum, art library, or slide and photo archive in order to gain practical experience and skills for future professional work. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC). Course is repeatable to a maximum of 16 units.

VRC Internship Description:
The Visual Resource Center in the Department of Art History is pleased to offer undergraduate internships to Art History majors who are interested in developing professional skills related to visual resources and image management. Working closely with the Curator and Digital Specialist, the intern will have the unique opportunity to develop core competencies associated with the production and management of digital image collections. Through their work in the Visual Resource Center, assigned readings, and reflection papers,  interns will become familiar with theory and best practices related to image production, materiality, cataloguing standards, controlled vocabularies, online databases, image repositories, and issues surrounding intellectual property. Specific opportunities will vary by term and may include handling both analog film and born-digital content.


Examples of similar internships at cultural heritage institutions.

The Jewish Museum: Internship in Visual Resources
Under the supervision of the Visual Resources Coordinator, the Visual Resources Intern will be responsible for researching and cataloging physical photographic collateral including glass plate negatives, 35 mm slides, and 4x5 transparencies.   The successful candidate will have film handling experience and will be familiar with collections databases. This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to pursue a career in the visual resources fields and to observe the inner workings of a museum visual resources collection.   The internship will also provide experience and hands-on training working with the most commonly used museum collections software, The Museum System (TMS).  

The intern will receive a museum identification card that allows for free admission to other museums and various discounts.


  • Identify, research, and store photographic materials in the Visual Resources Archive
  • Transcribe information associated with the images
  • Label archival envelopes for the permanent storage of analog photographic materials
  • Use TMS to find information about artwork depicted in images
  • Entering data and attaching images to records in TMS may be required

The Richard Avedon Foundation: Archive Intern
The Archive Project: The Richard Avedon Archive Project is a unique opportunity to view the full body of Richard Avedon’s work. Many of the negatives and prints that interns handle and catalog are unpublished and never viewed outside of the Foundation. Interns are trained in proper print and negative handling procedures. They research Avedon’s photographic sittings and scan in the choices from each sitting. Photoshop is used to import images and enter them into an art-specific database. The Foundation staff trains interns in all technical skills. Interns will also assist in the research, organization, and digitization of archive documents and other material. This material plays an important role, as it is often used as supporting material for books, exhibitions, and other projects. Rights and Reproduction: Our interns have the opportunity to help with the management of Richard Avedon’s copyright and are involved in various elements of book and magazine reproduction. Interns research initial queries as well as provide reference scans of published work. Galleries and Exhibitions: Interns may assist Foundation staff with all facets of gallery shows and exhibitions. Experience includes everything from initial concepts to curatorial concerns.

Peabody Essex Museum: Exhibition Research and Publishing Rights Intern Are you passionate about museums, books, and good data management? The Exhibition Research and Publishing Department is looking for an enthusiastic intern with an interest in learning more about copyright. The rights intern will assist the Digital Asset Manager and Editor on current PEM publishing projects, including books, digital publications, marketing image acquisition, process guides, and more. S/he will have the opportunity to learn about museum-quality book production broadly, and copyright and digital asset management principles and processes in detail. As an active contributor to our team, the rights intern will fulfill a variety of tasks: conducting rightsholder research, writing captions and photography credits, assisting with data organization and image management, and more.

Internship Qualifications : Undergraduate or graduate students with experience in publishing, library and information sciences, and/or the arts are encouraged to apply. The position requires excellent research and data presentation skills, and proven proficiency with the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office, particularly Excel. Experience with Lightroom preferred but not required. The ideal applicant would be engaged, organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated, and comfortable managing multiple tasks in a fast-paced office environment. Candidates must be able to communicate clearly and professionally with museum staff, vendors, rightsholders, and researchers.