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College of Arts & Sciences

History Internships

Department Internship Coordinator: Dr. Michele Clouse

One of the best ways for history students to prepare for the work world is to perform an internship. The History Department has a wide variety of options in this arena. Students have worked locally for the Southeast Ohio History Center, University Archives, Kennedy Museum, and Ohio University Press. Nationally, they have worked for the Smithsonian, the State Department, U.S. Holocaust Museum, Library of Congress, the National Archives, and many more.

Internships involve a variety of types of work. Students should search for these possibilities on their own, use Ohio University's Career & Leadership Development Center services, and ask professors who might have background in the area in which they are looking to work. Most of the internships listed here are based around "public history" (i.e., museum work) or archival preservation. Students should think creatively about what they want to accomplish and make sure to seek advice.

HIST 4910 Internship for Credit

With all internships, the student must decide to do the internship for credit or not. To line up an internship for credit (HIST 4910), the student must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the internship begins in order to choose the credit hours for the course (usually linked to the hours of the internship performed) and sign the required paperwork. Internships done for credit require a commitment to the place or institution of an entire semester (or summer). Please contact Dr. Joshua Hill, Director of Undergraduate Studies. Potential employers should contact Dr. Brian Schoen to be listed here a resource.

Students may receive Ohio University course credit for one to four hours according to the following formula (1 hour credit = 25 hours worked; 2 hours credit = 50 hours worked; 3 hours credit = 75 hours worked; 4 hours credit = 100 hours worked). The weekly distribution of the total number of hours worked per semester will be at the discretion of the intern supervisor in agreement with the student.

Internships listed here are broken down into three kinds: (a) Local internships performed while courses are in session at Ohio University and potentially done for credit, (b) internship possibilities in the state of Ohio that might require more travel time and might be best considered during the summer or winter breaks, and (c) "national" internships, usually in Washington, D.C., that require summer or winter break commitments.

Local Internships

Local internships are performed while courses are in session at Ohio University and potentially done for credit.

Southeast Ohio History Center

Numerous students have had a great deal of success working with the Southeast Ohio History Center. Some OHIO students have helped assemble displays for museum shows; others have worked in preserving historical artifacts or digitizing historical photographs. The museum and offices are located at 65 N. Court St., a short walk from campus. Internships should be arranged ahead of time by contacting Jessica Cyders at 740-592-2280 or jessica@athenshistory.org. Visit athenshistory.org.

Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University

Those looking for a future career as a museum curator and some experiential background also can contact the Kennedy Museum of Art about internship possibilities. The Kennedy Museum works on various exhibitions, through which students can learn the skills of preservation and museum show and display. The Kennedy Museum prefers to have a professor's recommendation for an internship. The person to contact there is Lori Spencer at stumpl@ohio.edu or 740-593-0952. They also have available some paid internships through PACE, which operates under a competitive system of application (higher priority here is given to students in the School of the Arts). Visit www.ohio.edu/museum.

Alden Library's Archives and Special Collections

The Alden Library's Archives and Special Collections has offered students numerous opportunities to students to learn the ins and outs of archival organization and preservation. For more information on the possibility of internship possibilities here, contact William Kimok. Or if interested in the George Voinovich Collections, contact Douglas McCabe. To get a better sense of what archival materials and collections presently exist, visit the special collections at Alden.

Fairfaield Hertiage Association, Lancaster, Ohio

The Fairfield Heritage Association has a number of opportunities available for history majors, including processing archival collections, researching and developing history walks and K-12 educational materials, working at the Sherman House, and conducting oral histories with select groups of Fairfield County individuals. Contact: Andrea Brookover, Executive Director at 740-654-9923.

Rural Action

The local non-profit organization Rural Action has some opportunities in historical preservation and archiving. They are starting to digitize some local history materials and are interested in working with students who have an interest in grassroots public activism. Those interested in an internship here should contact Susan Roth, Development and Communications Director for Rural Action, at susan@ruralaction.org.

Ohio University Press & Swallow Press

Recognizing that many students of history go into book publishing (academic or trade), students are encouraged to think about an internship with the Ohio University Press and its trade imprint Swallow Press. The Press offers internship opportunities in (a) editing and acquisitions and (b) marketing and publicity. Students thinking about (a) are usually asked to get a professor's recommendation and contact Gillian Berchowitz at berchowi@ohio.edu or 740-593-1159. Those interested in publicity and marketing (which includes website support and online marketing, mailings and award submissions, and a variety of other marketing support projects) should have a professor ready to recommend them and contact Sarah Welsch at welsch@ohio.edu or 740-593-1160.

George Washington Forum

The George Washington Forum hosts a variety of conferences and speakers throughout the academic year. If interested in this line of work as an intern, please contact Dr. Robert Ingram.

Law Offices

Pre-law students might want to contact local law offices to see about internship possibilities. That's as simple as opening up the yellow pages. Or see the College of Arts & Sciences pre-law adviser Larry Hayman at the Center for Law, Justice and Culture

State-Wide Internships

Internship possibilities in the state of Ohio might require more travel time and might be best considered during the summer or winter breaks. These internships can be considered on a case-by-case basis for credit with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Ohio History Connection

The first option here is to contact the Ohio History Connection (formerly known as the Ohio Historical Society). Check their guide to "Museums & Historic Sites" that provides a nice listing of opportunities in different regions of the state. Their museum and library are both located in Columbus, OH.

Some of the following might be able to offer internship possibilities that wouldn't require too much travel from Athens.

State of Ohio, Attorney General's Office

There are both summer college internships and academic-year legal internships at the State of Ohio Attorney General's Office. See Learning Opportunities and College Internship information on their website.

Little Cities of Black Diamonds

Little Cities of Black Diamonds is an organization based around numerous towns in southeastern Ohio and the study of the labor movement and coal mining. They are based in Shawnee, OH, and their phone number is 740-878-9767.

Multicultural Genealogical Center

The Multicultural Genealogical Center is an organization that works on African American and multi-racial history in southeastern Ohio, including the Underground Railroad. They are based in Chesterhill, OH. Contact the president Ada Woodson Adams at amadams@frognet.net or on LinkedIn.

Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society

The Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society focuses on local history in Perry County, with offices are located in Somerset, OH. Find them on Facebook.

Zanesville Museum of Art

The Zanesville Museum of Art is a local museum with some archival projects that need to be completed. The museum works on an array of public history projects, including those linked with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Contact 740-452-0741 or info@zanesvilleart.org.

National Internships

The department strongly recommends that students spend some time researching possibilities in the Washington, D.C. area. For instance, there are numerous think tanks and policy centers that might be interested in having a student of history work for them. Consider the Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Center for American Progress, the New America Foundation, etc. The offices of the American Historical Association are also located in D.C. and can provide feedback on internship possibilities.

The following list are places where students associated with Ohio University, either as undergraduate or graduate students, have done internships and have had successful experiences. (Please keep us up to date about your own internship experiences, so we can renew this list.) This list isn't comprehensive or intended to limit choices; rather it is a starting point.

U.S. State Department

Students have worked here in a variety of areas, including archival work and publishing. Visit careers.state.gov/intern.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

One student worked with the reference archivist and engaged in a variety of public events that the museum held throughout the summer. Visit www.ushmm.org/information/career-volunteer-opportunities/internships.

Library of Congress

In general, the Library of Congress offers numerous opportunities. One student worked at the Recorded Sound Section in Culpepper, VA. See the Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program.

National Archives and Record Administration

Nixon Presidential Materials Project: Again, the National Archives have numerous opportunities. One student performed an internship at the College Park, MD offices. See National Archives Voluntary Internship Opportunities.

Opportunities Abroad: International Internships

In addition to local and national internships, a number of opportunities exist for students who wish to combine their internship experience with international travel and education.

Point Alpha Foundation

Point Alpha is a former U.S. Army forward observation post at the former intra-German border. The academy hosts a variety of workshops and public events for student groups, scholars, and policymakers; thus, interns would be expected to perform museum work, help design next exhibits, and conduct research in Point Alpha’s archival collection. The academy is currently preparing a new exhibition about daily lives of American soldiers in Hessen during the Cold War. Interns should plan to stay for a minimum of two months. Point Alpha offers lodging at the Academy in Geisa. Some German language is preferred, and knowledge of either Cold War or military or diplomatic history is preferred. Visit the foundation’s website and contact Dr. Ingo Trauschweizer. Students can apply for departmental funds to offset travel expenses. Students should begin the application process two to three months in advance.

Other Global Options

Students interested in an internship abroad should contact the Office of Global Opportunities to explore other options.

Directed Study and Research Assistantships

Students considering a future requiring strong research and writing skills should speak with a departmental adviser and might want to think about deepening their knowledge in a Directed Studies class (History 4930 series), an honors thesis, or serving as a research assistant to a professor in the department.

Other Options

Students considering a future in education should speak with a departmental or College of Arts & Science adviser at CAS.undergrad@ohio.edu.

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