The Tennessee State Library and Archives welcomes interns and volunteers who would like to be involved in aspects of library and archival work. Students enrolled in a school or university program may study here as interns, while any member of the community may serve as a volunteer. All interested candidates should be detail-oriented and have some background in history or library work.
Opportunities are available in the areas described below. Click on the headings to see specific information about intern/volunteer projects in each area. Use the link at the bottom of the page to apply for a position.
You'll be amazed at all you can learn by getting involved at the Library and Archives!
Project Description: The Digital Working Group is looking for a tech-savvy intern to assist with the Tennessee State Library and Archive’s digital collections projects. A limited number of positions are available, generally on a semester schedule. Preference will be given to students registered in credit-granting programs. All projects will need to include some work on-site, but some can include a significant amount of remote participation.
This internship involves working with historical documents and images related to the history of Tennessee, creating and maintaining data and digital images, learning controlled terms, metadata standards and digital preservation, as well as loading images and data in the content management system (CONTENTdm).
Qualifications: Applicants must have computer skills and attention to detail.
Time Frame: Ongoing
Work Schedule: Part-time, Monday – Friday, with schedule to be determined
Compensation: These are unpaid internships. Interns will have Library and Archives internship/volunteer status.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to assist with maintenance of the Library and Archives' federal map collection. The intern will enter data into an inventory of over 1,000 U. S. Geological Survey maps not related to Tennessee that will be placed on the federal documents needs and offers lists so that other federal depositories can acquire, if needed. The inventory must contain detailed information about each map, including the title, map number, and date. This internship requires attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, a high level of accuracy in data entry, and experience with Microsoft Excel.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to assist with collection maintenance by entering data into an inventory of a large collection of early newspapers in print format. The intern will arrange the collection and complete data entry of all pertinent information, which will enable access to the collection. The intern must have attention to detail, strong organizational skills, be proactive, have a high level of accuracy in data entry, and experience with Microsoft Access.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to assist with general collection maintenance by identifying preservation needs of material in the library collection. Duties will include evaluating items, and selecting and processing materials to identify proper storage techniques, which may include bagging and labeling, shrink wrapping, placing pamphlets in acid-free envelopes and/or binders, making boxes for materials that don't require Preservation Lab services and referring items to Preservation Services for further preservation or conservation needs. This internship requires attention to detail and basic computer literacy.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to assist with general stack and collection maintenance. The intern will assist with shelf reading to ensure materials are in call number order, while at the same time identifying items in need of a barcode, and assist with collection shifts, as needed. This internship requires attention to detail and strong organizational skills.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to create Federal Documents Offers lists to send to other depository libraries throughout Tennessee and the Southeast. Training will include the legal requirements of Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) discards, an introduction to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system, and an explanation of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Disposition Database. List creation requires close attention to detail, familiarity with Microsoft Excel, and some online research.
Project Description: Library Technical Services is searching for an intern to assist with cataloging activities. The internship provides experience in preparing records that support the search experience in online library catalogs. Duties will include database searching, copy cataloging, and attaching holdings to existing records. Experience with searching library catalogs and some knowledge of basic cataloging practices is preferred. This internship requires high computer literacy, experience in online searching, attention to detail, and a high level of accuracy in data entry.
Project Description: The Public Services section is looking for interested volunteers or interns to create a database of all known Revolutionary War pensioners who lived in Tennessee. This data will be used in a GIS mapping project, providing an online look at these soldiers and their travels. The project has two phases. First, transcribing various lists of pensioners and basic data about them into an Excel spreadsheet. Second, reading the original pension files and noting the places and dates of migration mentioned in the file. The first phase requires accurate data entry from printed sources; the second requires the ability to read early 19th century handwritten documents in Heritage Quest online. Attention to detail, a high level of accuracy in data entry and basic computer literacy are required.
Project Description: The Public Services section is looking for interested volunteers or interns to create an index from Record Group 3, Board of Pension Examiners card files, which includes the death date for Confederate soldiers. The project requires the ability to read and look at microfilm for extended periods of time, attention to detail, a high level of accuracy in data entry, basic computer literacy, and experience with Microsoft Word or Access.
Project Description: The Public Services section is looking for interested volunteers or interns to create a preliminary index from the information that is on each negative slip thus making this new collection usable for Public Services archivists until it is processed. (Currently they are organized only by date – not location.) The data entry of this information will be in Microsoft Access, therefore, this task requires attention to detail, a high level of accuracy in data entry, basic computer skills, and a working knowledge of Access.
Project Description: The Public Services section is looking for interested volunteers or interns to create an index of the Transportation Orders for post-Civil War railroad travel from the microfilmed Wainwright Collection. The project requires the ability to read 19th Century handwriting, the ability to read and look at microfilm for extended periods of time, attention to detail, a high level of accuracy in data entry, basic computer literacy, and experience with Microsoft Word or Access.
Project Description: The Public Services section is looking for interested volunteers or interns to remove and re-label the tapes in the Legislative History collections. This project requires the ability to physically stand on concrete floors for extended time periods, attention to detail, and a high level of accuracy in re-labeling the cassettes.
Project Description: The Public Services Section seeks to digitize both an index and compiled bill history, for records presently found only on microfiche. This outdated medium needs to be transferred to a digital format (originally the microfiche was produced by the General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Services). Once digitized, this resource will be used internally by our staff to assist with Legislative History research, providing greater efficiency and time-management in locating valuable research information for our customers.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is looking for a motivated intern or volunteer to assist in describing the contents of this collection for researchers. Volunteers will examine each piece of historic sheet music in the collection, entering publication details, subject terms, and descriptions of cover art into a searchable database that may be made available online as the project progresses. A legacy card index is available to verify publication details.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is looking for a motivated intern or volunteer to prepare preliminary box and folder lists of unprocessed archival collections. The successful candidate will have the first opportunity to examine historic collections and survey and describe their contents prior to formal processing by a TSLA staff member.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is looking for a motivated intern or volunteer to convert legacy archival finding aids to a new format that utilizes the DACS standard for archival description. Volunteers will be assigned a group of electronic finding aid files in Microsoft Word format and will transfer information into new Word documents using the section’s template file. Some legacy finding aids may require editing and/or additional information, so good writing and research skills are preferred.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is looking for a motivated intern or volunteer to assist in compiling information on archival items or collections that were placed at TSLA “on deposit” prior to 1990. Volunteers will go through the accession folders for each deposited collection, using ownership information located there to search online for current contact information of the depositor or their descendants. The compiled information will be used to contact the depositor to propose the donation of the materials to TSLA and will provide valuable experience in donor relations and working with acquisition records.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is looking for a motivated intern or volunteer to assist in creating a trustworthy inventory of state agency records. These records are described in a rudimentary database that requires additional information and confirmation of records status. Tasks will involve comparing boxes to Records Disposition Authorization (RDA) forms and to database information, creating reports on records status, and lifting and moving boxes up to 40 lbs. in weight.
Project Description: In order to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing a manager of archival acquisitions and processing, Interns in the Archival Technical Services section will spend a week shadowing the Section Director. Interns will have an opportunity to observe the work of this director and other section staff, discuss current issues and initiatives, and attend both formal and informal meetings along with the Director. A longer internship can also be arranged, involving more detailed experiences in accessioning of archival materials, working with donors, archival arrangement and description, and collection management.
Project Description: Archival Technical Services is searching for a volunteer or intern to assist with stack collection maintenance. Primary duties will include wrapping of volumes in protective Tyvek coverings and labeling these volumes. Additional duties may include barcoding of collections and shifting/inventorying of collections. Requires attention to detail and strong organizational skills.
Project Description: The Education Outreach department is looking for an intern or volunteer who would assist staff with developing educational materials related to primary sources at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. This project would include historical research, analysis of primary sources, and development of creative ways to use primary sources to teach middle and high school students at the Library and Archives and in the classroom. Potential volunteers or interns should have a strong foundation in Tennessee and/or American history, an understanding of the needs of the K-12 teacher and classroom, and a willingness to familiarize themselves with Tennessee’s K-12 social studies curriculum standards.
Project Description: The Planning and Development department seeks interns or volunteers to assist the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) Administrator with a variety of projects. These projects include: researching library websites for usage of TEL unique URLS, summarizing survey information, assisting in writing social media posts, updating current handouts and creating new handouts, creating subject pages on the TEL website, and investigate usage statistics to determine future training and outreach.
Time Frame: Ongoing
Work Schedule: Part-time, Monday-Friday, with schedule to be determined
Description of Work: The Planning and Development department seeks an intern or volunteer to assist the continuing education coordinator with the planning, implementation and wrap up of programs for libraries across the state and for programs at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. This will include curriculum design, scheduling, budgeting, presentation and administrative closure of programs covering a wide variety of topics.
Time Commitment: This can be an internship project for a single intern who comes in on a weekly basis for four to eight hours.
Internship Opportunities Librarians deal daily with safety, technology, health, education, community and family issues, offering information and support for people in all walks of life. They also manage, what is essentially, a small business. The required knowledge is never ending. In addition to learning about public libraries across TN, the intern will learn about the development of lifelong learning programs for library professionals in rural communities and metropolitan areas, tracking professionally required credentials, and free (and almost free) technology education resources