Jobs, Internships & Volunteering Opportunities

Archival Internships

DC Metro Area Internship Opportunities

Each voluntary internship is unique and offers a variety of duties and requires different skills. Locations will also vary. Please browse our available opportunities and apply to the one(s) that best suits your interests.

Reference & Processing Sections (RDT) – Physical site is College Park, MD

Internship Description

The aim of the Reference and Processing Sections is to provide interns a well rounded archival experience. First and foremost, interns are given the opportunity to work with primary documents. Second, interns usually work primarily with one archivist, who serves as a supervisor.

Records found in Washington, DC, and in College Park, MD, are broken down into following three subject areas:

  • military
  • navy and maritime records
  • civilian agencies

Prospective interns will work mainly in either reference or processing, but may have the opportunity to work in a limited capacity in the other section during their internship.

The following are brief descriptions of the duties an intern can expect to undertake:

Reference interns:

  • Respond to various researcher inquiries, usually by doing a cursory search of the records and then answering the request by letter or email.
  • Spend some time in the consultant's room working with researchers in person.
  • Perform some processing work, such as writing descriptions and/or preparing box and/or folder lists.  
  • A small percentage of an intern’s time may include assisting staff with retrieving and refiling records requested by researchers. 
  • Reference interns are usually assigned to one of the three subject area teams: military; navy /maritime; and civilian agencies. 

Processing interns:

  • Will generally concentrate on one larger project (i.e., holdings maintenance on and/or arranging and describing records) and/or a few small projects (like box/folder lists).
  • Spend time in the consultant’s room greeting researchers in person.     
  • A small percentage of an intern’s time may include assisting staff with retrieving and refiling records requested by researchers.

Interested candidates must be enrolled in a degree granting program (at the undergraduate or graduate level) 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.  Generally, internships at the National Archives are unpaid positions with the minimum requirement of 160 hours.  For the summer, it is preferred that an intern maintain a full-time schedule for at least 8-10 weeks, as it provides an intern with the best archival experience allowing him/her to take on more challenging projects.  However, not being able to work within these parameters will not exclude an intern applicant from being considered.

The Application Process

Please submit:

  1. Resume and cover letter
  2. Recent school transcript
  3. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member

Application deadlines for all internships are as follows:

  • Summer: March 5
  • Fall: July 5
  • Spring: November 5

For more information or to submit an application please contact:

Tina Ligon