Employment and Internships

Archival Internship

The Leo Baeck Institute, located at the Center for Jewish History, is an archival repository and library devoted to German-Jewish speaking history from earliest times up to and through the Holocaust.  The bulk of the archival material is from 1880 – 1940.  We are currently seeking an archival intern to work with us.  This internship is unpaid, but we hope valuable for a student of library information who wishes to focus in archival work.  You can learn more about the Leo Baeck Institute by accessing our website, located at old.lbi.org.

The bulk of the intern’s duties consist of processing and accessioning archival collections.  The requirements of processing are manifold.  The intern is given old and new acquisitions to arrange (or rearrange) in an order that facilitates research.  This task includes (re)boxing; (re)labeling; assigning new easily traced locations to; and devising new finding aids for the collections.  Each of these components is time consuming and requires strict attention to detail.  The writing of finding aids is considered the key component in the work of an archival intern at the Leo Baeck Institute: a product of studying and classifying the original material, putting it in an order that makes it accessible for researchers, and describing it in a way that allows the researchers to know if it has material related to their specific needs.

At times, the intern encounters fragile and rare items in the archival collections.  He or she removes these items for basic preservation practices. At times they may be taught basic conservation techniques they can perform themselves on the material.

A number of smaller tasks are also conducted by interns:

  • Paging archival and library materials for patrons using the Institute’s research facility.   In order to page in the archives, the intern is required to learn the complex system by which archival collections are organized, in addition to being well organized so that material is removed and re-shelved in correct order and placement.
  • Providing assistance in preparing art and archival material for exhibition loans to museums.  He or she works closely with the archivists and the registrar of the Art Department to locate and prepare for shipping the objects desired by the museums for their displays.
  • Handling research requests.  The intern sometimes performs research in order to locate requested materials, often communicating several times with patrons to ascertain precisely what they require and fulfill the requests.

The internship is 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday.  Each day is from 9:30 AM until 5:00 PM.  Friday we close earlier, at 3:00 PM, in recognition of the Sabbath.  Daily transportation within New York City is remunerated.

Basic reading knowledge of German is required.

As the internship is unpaid, we do not expect our interns to stay long-term.  We do request a commitment of three months as the least amount of time making one eligible for the position.  We do not have an academic advisor on staff, but are willing to work with your advisor if it is possible for the internship to equal credit towards the degree.

To apply please e-mail your resume and cover letter to the head librarian Mr. Michael Simonson at msimonson@lbi.cjh.org.