The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to offer a full-time, unpaid internship opportunity with its Collections Department. The internship provides opportunities concentrating on several different aspects of museum collections duties, but primarily focused in collections management and accessions. As part of a larger, collection-wide inventory effort this position will complete an inventory of museum artifacts currently on display at the Detroit Historical Museum. The completion of this inventory is necessary to maintain intellectual control of the collection.
The selected applicant will be immersed in the day-to-day operation of a large three dimensional artifact collection and will be working to improve artifact tracking within the organization from the ground up. The result will be a firsthand experience in procedural collections management, daily work with Past Perfect, a widely used museum collection management system and exposure to all the skills necessary to work with and manage museum collections.
Regular semester internships are unpaid yet ideal for applicants in need of internship credit hours. The Society’s internship work hour and reporting requirements will conform to the student’s university course standards. However, interns can expect to spend approximately 560 hours working during their enrollment in an internship course. Scheduling hours are flexible, but work must be completed between 8am-5pm Monday through Friday.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Physically locate objects within exhibit cases and update this information in museum’s PastPerfect (PP) database;
- Conduct limited research on uncatalogued objects using various means including archive records, card catalog, library and online resources to create new database records;
- Correctly handle objects as outlined by training;
- Use various computer programs to complete collections and research tasks;
- Learn about and implement the accession process;
- Identify inventoried artifacts by a variety of means: i.e. sewing labels, painting, attached tags etc.;
- Scan historical documents and archival items into database;
- Assist with other collections projects, as needed.
Required Skills and Abilities:
- Basic knowledge of Detroit history;
- Intermediate computer skills;
- Previous experience working with museum and archival collections including the use of PastPerfect Museum Software;
- Strong organizational skills with attention to detail;
- Ability to lift 15-20 pounds and comfort utilizing a step ladder;
- Ability to both sit for long periods of time at a computer and stand for reasonable amounts of time, bending, twisting etc. in a museum gallery environment;
- Self-starter who can work independently and as part of a larger initiative;
- Maintain the ability to follow precise directions;
- Efficiency in spelling, grammar and have good writing skills;
- Maintain attention span for performing repetitive tasks;
- Ability to occasionally interact with the public in a respectful manner.
Education, Training and Experience:
- Candidate must enroll in an internship course for college credit. Undergraduate senior level or graduate standing, strongly preferred;
- Concentration in history, anthropology, museum studies or similar field preferred;
- Preference will be given to candidates with museum collections experience in either a paid or volunteer capacity;
- Minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 is required.
Interested candidates should forward a cover letter, current resume and letter of support from faculty supervisor by March 5, 2018 to:
Manager of Collections
Detroit Historical Society
5401 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
No phone calls, please.
- Basic Computer Skills
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- This is a full-time 35 hour per week committment
- Must be currently enrolled in a university course credit