Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

Student Historian Internship at the New-York Historical Society


DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) visionary NY politician, founder of the New-York Historical Society, avatar and guardian angel of Mr. D’s Neighborhood

Yes, Virginia, there are teenage students out there who would prefer to dive into musty museum exhibits and artifacts instead of making money for a car or a prom dress.

These teenagers are history nuts, just like those who are regular readers here at the Neighborhood.  Thankfully, the New-York Historical Society offers summer internships to satisfy the Ivy League professor in all of them.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Society, New York’s oldest museum going back to 1804.  Their rotating exhibits, and the upstairs attic collection, offer a feast of the eyes and the intellect.  Unfortunately, the Society is undegoing a massive renovation that will be completed November 10.  So for many high schoolers in the tri-state area, the Summer Historian internship at N-YHS offers the only way they can interact with the museum’s collection before graduation and college.

The Internship is open to all 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the tri-state area, thanks to a grant from the Pinkerton Foundation.   If you’re a city kid, it gets better: NYC high schoolers are eligible for PAID internships, with compensation provided (not sure whether its a one-shot stipend or a weekly check thing).  If you don’t get one of those, city students will still be eligible for the unpaid internships available to out-of-city students.

There are two internships, one for the summer and one for the school year.  The summer internship is what’s open now: according to the N-YHS website, participants will be interning Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 4:45 pm, July 5-August 11.  Furthermore, interns will be involved in the following:

  • Researching art, artifacts, and documents from the N-YHS collection to create guides, tours, and videos for museum visitors and the N-YHS website
  • Meeting with experts from the museum and library departments to discuss both the museum’s collections and career options
  • Visiting museums throughout New York City
  • Creating supplementary materials for N-YHS School Programs
  • Assisting with public programs, family programs, and other special events

(Thanks again to the N-YHS website for providing a thorough description)

The deadline for applying is April 29, 2011.  Applicants should have their parent/guardian’s permission, as well as valid working papers from the New York State Department of Labor (Information on working papers can be found on a NYSDOL link located at N-YHS’ site).  There is an application to fill out and two letters of recommendation.

(A word of advice: don’t ask your parents to recommend you.  Stick with teachers, coaches and administrators that know your academic skills and your work ethic.)

If you love history, love museums, heck even love New York City, you should be running, not walking, to take advantage of this opportunity.  For you juniors applying to college, this is the sort of thing that makes admissions officers drool (I should  know…I conduct admissions interviews for my alma mater.)  Please send this to all high school teachers and students eligible.

Here’s the link again. Best of luck to all applicants, and remember to tell them the Neighborhood sent you.

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