Jobs, Internships & Volunteering Opportunities

Archival Internships

There are no internships available at this time. An earlier internship announcement is provided below for information purposes only.

Research Services (RD) – Physical site is Washington, DC

The Archives 1 Reference Section is offering three (3) unpaid internships for the summer of 2020. Internships are for undergraduate- and graduate-level students interested in the archival profession. Our goal is to provide students with meaningful, hands-on experience working in reference in a federal institution.



The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the repository of the historical records of the United States Government. Our holdings date from the Revolutionary War era to the present and document the activities of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and federal court system, and Executive Branch agencies. For more information on NARA’s history and holdings, please see our About page.

The Archives 1 Reference Section at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, provides on- and off-site reference for pre-World War I records of the U.S. Army; pre-World War II records of the U.S. Navy; records of the U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. district court; and headquarters-level records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and other federal agencies. We assist academic researchers, lawyers, genealogists, public historians, federal officials, and members of the public in understanding the history of the U.S. Government and accessing federal records that are relevant to their research.

Selected interns will work one-on-one with an archivist or as part of a small team to assist on- and off-site researchers in accessing records housed at the National Archives Building.

The following are some of the duties that interns can expect to undertake:

  • Responding to off-site researcher inquiries by doing a cursory search within a set of records.
  • Providing guidance to on-site researchers in the consultation room.
  • Producing finding aids (e.g., box/folder lists) for a series or collection of records.
  • Pulling and refiling records.
  • Creating reference reports about frequently requested records and/or subject areas.
  • Assisting in updating and enhancing the section’s web pages.
  • Developing and delivering presentations to staff about records of interest.

Specific projects will be determined at the time of acceptance into the internship program. Intern projects vary each year.

Three (3) unpaid internship positions are available for the summer of 2020. Internships last between 10 and 12 weeks. Interns can begin work as early as May 2020 and end as late as September 2020. Course credit can be provided if approved by interns’ institutions.

Flex time is available, but interns will be expected to spend the majority of their time on site during the office’s core business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Telework is not available for these internships.

Interested candidates must be enrolled in a two-year, four-year, or graduate degree program at the time of their internship. Selected interns will need to provide a letter from their school verifying enrollment.

U.S. citizenship is required and selected interns must submit to a full background check.

Internships are unpaid positions with a minimum requirement of 30 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week for 10 to 12 weeks. We strongly encourage interns to commit to 40 hours per week, as a full-time schedule will provide more opportunities for hands-on learning and professional development. However, not being able to work within these parameters will not exclude a potential applicant from being considered.

We welcome interns from diverse backgrounds. NARA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.

Additional qualifications for interns include:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Ability to balance multiple tasks within a limited time frame
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Dependable and punctual
  • Basic computer skills
  • Interest in U.S. history and government

Prior archival experience is a plus.

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials to Rose Buchanan at by February 15, 2020. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Application materials:

  • Letter of interest
  • Current resume/CV
  • Writing sample (3,500 words or less)
  • Most recent school transcript that includes full legal name (unofficial transcripts will be accepted)
  • Two letters of recommendation from a faculty member or employer

Please note that the writing sample does not have to relate to history or the government. Applicants are encouraged to submit a sample that will reflect their best writing, regardless of the topic.

Faculty members and employers can email their letters of recommendation directly to

Applicants are welcome to submit their application materials prior to February 15; however, early submission will not give applicants preference in the selection process.

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Rose Buchanan

(202) 357-5288