Webinar: Best Practices for Developing History Internships

Creating an internship program at your historic site can not only benefit your organization, but should also benefit your interns and lets you help develop the next generation of history professionals. This webinar will give you tips and strategies for creating an internship program that both you and your interns will get something out of.  We’ll cover the ethics of internships, best practices for managing interns, and a look at some common challenges and possible solutions. You’ll leave with ideas you can use at every organization, no matter its size.



Date: October 24, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.


About the Instructor:

Amy Rohmiller is the AmeriCorps Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection.  In this position she recruits, trains, and manages members and host sites for the Ohio History Service Corps, an AASLH award-winning program. She also works with the rest of the Local History Services department to share knowledge and technical assistance with Ohio’s local history community. She previously coordinated Ohio’s statewide commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Prior to joining the Ohio History Connection, Amy worked as an Education Assistant at Dayton History and as an Ohio History Service Corps Member. She received a BA in History from Case Western Reserve University and an MA in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University.


Join our #AASLHchat about Internships on July 7th here.

50 History & Museum Internship Positions Open on AASLH Job Board

There are currently more than 50 internship positions available on our Career Center job board in all corners of the country, from Alaska to Texas and back up Maine. Scroll through the list here, and keep an eye out for new listings on our job board. If you know any emerging history professionals, do them a favor and share these opportunities.

Looking for interns for your history organization? Members can post 90 day internship listings on the Career Center job board for free ($35 for nonmembers).

AASLH pays its interns and encourages other organizations, companies, and institutions to do the same. Want to become a Student Member for only $30 a year? Learn more.

The Art of Being an Intern

A few years ago, I was at my internship at the Raupp Museum, a small historical society in suburban Chicago, when my supervisor returned from an off-site school visit. “Rapunzel has sprung another leak,” she said. “We’re down to one udder.” This meant only one thing: it was time to pull out the bottle of liquid latex and make some repairs.

Rapunzel is a four-foot tall papier-mâché cow, lovingly created by volunteers quite a few years ago. She routinely travels to various schools in the area to teach 3-6 year olds about our community’s dairy farming roots and farm chores. Pour some water into the removable udder and voilà; any preschooler can learn to “milk” a cow. For her age, Rapunzel has held up quite well, with only one loose leg and a rather stubborn udder. And therefore, for the past few years, a perpetual summer intern project has been to re-latex the udders.

Latexing a cow udder is not the strangest task I have been asked to complete as an intern. As an aspiring museum educator, I can cite a myriad of examples from the six unique internship experiences I have completed over the past five years. And who hasn’t asked their intern to teach a high school student to accurately throw an atlatl at pygmy dinosaurs, create festive pie-themed headwear, become an expert at exploding model magic volcanoes, or (the perpetual favorite) master the art of setting up tables and chairs?

I list these tasks partially in jest, but also as a comparison to my current “job” as a graduate student. Graduate school is kind of a magical place where I am pushed to question, criticize, and critique. Poised on the edge of graduation, I am confident in my ability to think like a historian, to research any topic imaginable, and communicate my ideas. My training has reinforced the big ideas that I want to accomplish and given me the optimism to believe I can make them happen.

However, my six unique internship experiences over the past five years have given me a healthy dose of the "real world." I have been fortunate enough to land positions with fantastic supervisors who have entrusted me to facilitate their school programs, develop lesson plans, and participate in the formation of policies and procedures. At the same time, I have been exposed to the realities of my field. This profession is filled with messy hierarchies, debates of mission versus money, and difficulties attracting audiences and visitors.

As emerging professionals, we often grapple with this intersection between praxis and theory, of the best practices we are taught to follow and the actualities of the professional world. As a new graduate, I come armed with an arsenal of innovative ideas and a determination to make them happen. At the same time, I realize that change is slow and memories are long. On the precipice of starting my career, my internships have taught me that doing history is rewarding, but often messy. And that sometimes you just need to be willing to re-latex a cow udder.

Callie McCune is a graduate student at Indiana University- Purdue University, Indianapolis in Public History, where she is slogging through the final chapters of her master’s thesis on the Indianapolis City Market. An aspiring museum educator, she is currently completing an internship in the Education and Community Engagement Department at the Indiana Historical Society.

AASLH Presents First Joint Video with NCPH and Institute of Oral History

AASLH, the National Council on Public History (NCPH), and the Institute of Oral History, are pleased to present our first joint video, "Tips for Getting a Job in the Public History field."

The video was filmed at the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul Minnesota. Featured in the video are AASLH Council members Linnea Grim and Ken Turino and AASLH members/volunteers Mari Carpenter and Tim Grove.

Did You Have a Great Intern This Summer?

I’ll cut right to the chase.

AASLH is reaching out to the members of the AASLH Small Museums Affinity Community because we know how much small museums rely on their internship programs. And if you had interns this summer, chances are you weren't able to compensate them as much as you know they're worth.


We all know how important internships are. My first was at the National Museum for Jewish Military History in Washington, DC., and my second was at The Bostonian Society. Both supervisors, Jon West-bey and Rainey Tisdale, supported me beyond giving me the credits I needed to graduate, and I'll be grateful to them forever. The support they provided and the experiences I had shaped the career path I took. Supporting these future leaders and giving them everything they need to succeed is what it's all about, right?

If you had a fantastic intern this summer, show them your appreciation by investing in their professional growth outside of internships and their school curriculum.

Please give them a gift of Student Membership in AASLH. It's a $30 investment both in their future career and in our field.

Send back this form with your membership gift by August 31 and we'll make sure your intern receives a free copy of the AASLH Technical Leaflet:  Skills Most Valued for Entry-Level Professional Museum Positions.

AASLH cares about their career development as much as you do!

Rebecca Price is Director of Membership, Communications, and Marketing at AASLH.

Then Now Wow Observation

Working on a team of evaluators to observe a child as he or she explores an exhibition was a new and exciting experience for me. I had the opportunity to try it out as part of my internship with the Minnesota Historical Society.

Like an ethnographer, I observed children’s behaviors, expressions, interactions with others, and reactions to exhibits including Then Now Wow, an interactive, story-driven exhibit designed specifically for school-aged children (read why the exhibit received an AASLH Award of Merit last year).

MHS Exhibit

We used a rubric to check behaviors we observed and measure the children’s level of engagement. We also made notes about their conversations, reactions and interactions and concluded with a quick interview.

Different from other data collection methods, such as surveys, observation provides evaluators with direct access to the subject and offers the opportunity to note nuances that might otherwise be overlooked.

And, instead of relying on self-reporting, such as asking people to fill out a survey or posing questions about how they might feel or what they might do in a certain situation, observers actually see, record and analyze what subjects actually do and how they do it. This provides evaluators with an abundance of information.

As with all methods of evaluation, there are drawbacks to observation. For example, the presence of observers is likely to influence the behaviors of the people who are being observed which is known as the Hawthorne or observer effect.

Another issue is subjective bias on the part of the observer meaning that the observation record and analysis are influenced by the observer’s knowledge, values and background. Such subjectivity could undermine the reliability and validity of the data collected.

Does your museum or site use observation to help with exhibit evaluation? If not, you might give it a try. If you have used it, did you find it helpful?

Here are a few helpful resources if you would like to learn more about observation:




Ariel Jiang recently completed an internship with the Minnesota Historical Society as part of her graduate studies at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, where she studied public policy and program evaluation.


AASLH Unveils New Career Center

Last December, AASLH launched its new Home for History website. With the new website, AASLH is able to offer more benefits to its members. Among other things, members can now share news and announcements and find access to over a thousand resources in the StEPs clearinghouse.

Today, AASLH is unveiling its full Career Center under the Jobs section of the website.  The AASLH Career Center has articles and content on working in our field, volunteering, getting work experience, and career advice to young, aspiring history leaders.

Career Center Screenshot

The heart of the Career Center is the AASLH Job Board, which now includes a new initiative: Internship Listings. Just like a job board, this will have postings of available internships placed by our members and constituents. It is FREE to post for AASLH institutional members and only $25 a posting per nonmember. Postings run for 90 days.

Begin posting your internships needs now!

Visit the Career Center.

Big Student Opportunties at Small Museums

Brooke FordWhen I was sixteen years old, a small town girl from Inverness, Florida, I went to New York City for the first time and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was in awe as I walked from room to room, looking at beautiful works of art from around the world. Now, ten years later, I’ve landed an interview with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s summer internship program. Despite my self-confidence, I wondered what factors led them to choose me in this highly competitive internship program. I hope these reflections on my experience in small museums will help others seek similar opportunities.

Start early. As an undergraduate intern at the C.H. Nash Museum, I decided to focus on collection management and registration. I worked on the museum’s Disaster Preparedness Plan and was on a team installing a new exhibit. My experience with each of these projects helped me guide my career decisions early, focusing on that particular area in my studies and on future internships. After serving my internship, I enrolled in the Collections Management course offered by the university’s Museum Studies Graduate Certificate program.

- Take advantage of every opportunity your volunteer experience offers. As an intern, the C.H. Nash Museum asked me to perform all the regular duties of a full-time collections manager. This has been invaluable. Although this situation may be unique, I’d still recommend becoming a regular museum volunteer to gain experience and share in the museum’s successes. Volunteers in small museums contribute in big ways. Without the opportunities the C.H. Nash Museum offered, I’m sure I wouldn't have obtained that interview for the Met’s internship program.

- Take advantage of internships, whether they’re paid or unpaid. I’ve had internships at the Pink Palace Museum and the Art Museum of the University of Memphis. Both were unpaid, but they offered very different projects and experiences. My internships not only reflect my interest in collections management, they also build on my previous experiences.

- Make yourself diverse. In a small museum, I work with other areas of museum operations besides collections management. It comes with the job. Larger museums appreciate the diverse experience job applicants bring from internships and from working in small museums.

Take advantage of educational opportunities outside of your program. Museum Studies courses have been the foundation of my education in museum work, but attending professional conferences has also expanded my theoretical and practical knowledge. I’ve attended the American Alliance of Museums’ Annual Meeting, the Tennessee Association of Museums’ Annual Meeting, the Legal Issues in Museums Conference, and an American Disabilities workshop in the past year and a half. At museum conferences, you get information directly from the source and become aware of future museum trends. They're also a great way to network and meet people already working within the field. The AAM conference even had a workshop where a professional reviewed my résumé one-on-one. Apply for financial aid scholarships to these programs. If awarded, include it on your résumé to demonstrate your resourcefulness.

Small museums do make a difference, offering budding professionals the opportunities not always available at larger museums. I’m still waiting to hear if the Met has accepted me into their summer internship program, but just being asked to the interview, to me, is an accomplishment.

The C.H. Nash Museum and the Met may be like comparing apples and oranges, but without my education and experience in small museums, I probably would never have progressed beyond the first reviewer.

Brooke Mundy can be contacted at [email protected]

2014 Texas Historical Commission Diversity Internship Now Accepting Applications

Member Since 1995

The 2014 Texas Historical Commission Diversity Internship is now accepting applications! We hope that you will take a moment to inform any students, and/or student organizations you may be affiliated with, about the paid internship opportunity at the Texas Historical Commission (THC) for the summer of 2014. The deadline for applications and supporting documents is March 21, 2014.

Texas Historical Commission
The THC created the Diversity Internship in Historic Preservation to build interest in and awareness of careers in historic preservation, specifically among students from underrepresented ethnic groups. This initiative targets undergraduate and graduate students to encourage their interest in pursuing fields of study in history, preservation, architecture, archaeology, downtown revitalization, and heritage tourism.

Students will learn about the impact that historic preservation programs can have on a community's economic development. Working with THC staff and programs will expose the interns to the various and exciting vocational opportunities in the field of historic preservation, with the goal of encouraging more student from underrepresented ethnic groups to pursue careers in this field upon graduation.

Diversity interns will complete a rotation among all divisions headquartered in Austin the first week, and then complete a special project in a previously determined division based on the student's primary interest. More information on specific internship projects available for the Summer of 2014 can be found at the link below.

Diversity interns will receive a $5,000 stipend provided by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission for an eight-week internship (40-hour week). Interns will work under the supervision of the THC, at its headquarters in Austin, and/or "in the field" with its historic sites and local preservation partners. Brief progress reports will be required, both during the employment period and at the conclusion of the student's internship.

• U.S. citizens of African, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, or Native America/Hawaiian/Alaskan heritage
• Junior level or above
• Enrolled in a college or university in Texas, or a Texas resident attending school out-of-state
• Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 system (or comparable GPA)
• Prior recipients are ineligible

For More Information: