Transcribe an oral history; write a lesson plan; develop marketing strategies; work hands-on in our artifact and archive collection areas; teach a child the art of the "hoop and stick". The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) is committed to providing learning opportunities and career-enhancing experiences to college and graduate students. Whether greeting the public on the front lines or working behind the scenes, interns take an active role in executing the mission of the presidential museum and library. Working with professional staff as part of a skilled team, interns participate in significant projects as well as day-to-day operations as they become familiar with the museum and library fields. References and contacts gained through work as an intern can be helpful in securing future employment and admission to further programs of study. Students and recent graduates in history, museum studies, library science or education are highly encouraged to apply.
The ALPLM internship program is open to qualified college students, recent graduates or graduate students. Interns from all majors and interests are encouraged to apply. Interviews will be conducted for all positions.
ALPLM internships are unpaid. However, certain grant-funded projects* may include intern stipends. Parking is provided for all interns working at least three days per week. Interns will also receive free admission to any ALPLM/HPA theater performance, book signing or other event held during the intern's stay for which there's an admission charge.
The ALPLM will work with students to provide educational opportunities that meet college requirements. We encourage interns to seek academic credit for their internship and will assist in any way to help the intern receive it. Check with your advisor or department chair to inquire about your school's requirements.
Internships usually take place throughout the typical academic spring, summer or fall semester. Students are required to work at least three days per week unless special arrangements are made with the supervisor and intern program coordinator.
Summer 2017 Internship announcements will be published here on January 23, 2017.
Summer 2017 (May-August) January 23-March 8, 2017
Fall 2017 (September-December) May 22-July 1, 2017
Spring 2018 (January-May) September 20-November 1, 2017
Please Note: Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis for any unfilled intern positions. Some internships fall outside the scope of the typical academic calendar and are considered Special Projects. These are not subject to the deadlines listed above and may be for a shorter or longer duration than one academic semester.
Museum Department Descriptions
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) intern program is administered through the ALPLM The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) intern program is administered through the ALPLM Department of Education. Intern positions are available within a variety of departments in both the Library and Museum as listed below:
Communications and Marketing
Students who intern with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's Communications and Marketing Division will be involved in an exciting and productive earned and paid media operation. The division currently issues more than 400 news releases per year and conducts hundreds of print and broadcast interviews, for a total of up to ten million media impressions per month. Interns will receive training in research, writing and distributing news releases; preparing key staff for media interviews; developing news media strategy; planning publicity and marketing strategies for key events, acquisitions and exhibits; the development of social media campaigns; graphic design and the development of paid marketing and advertising campaigns.
For students with a strong interest in collections management or being a registrar, this internship offers numerous opportunities to actively participate in tasks related to a collection or the artifacts in an exhibit. Both the registrar and a collection curator will oversee this internship. Interns will need to have a basic understanding of the process of collection management. Various opportunities in accessioning new acquisitions, researching artifacts in the collection, inventory, data entry of artifact records, preparing artifacts for storage, loan or shipment, learning how reports assist in the day-to-day operations, preparing loan agreements, installation of artifacts in exhibits or permanent displays, and problem-solving are possible in this internship. The student should have excellent communication skills, be able listen and follow instructions, engage in problem solving and articulation of ideas, understand the basics of collection needs, and exhibit professionalism at all times. Preference will be given to those who have successfully completed coursework or practicums related to collections management.
Under the direction of the ALPLM conservation staff, an intern would assist with a variety of conservation treatments on historical book and paper materials. The intern will gain experience in collecting and interpreting environmental data, preparing and mounting items for exhibit, and responding to preservation information inquiries, as well as preparing for and participating in preservation workshops and events. The scope of specific projects will be based on the intern's skill level, interests, academic requirements, and the needs of the ALPL Conservation Department. Students and recent graduates from conservation training and bookbinding programs are encouraged to apply. Related subject areas include library science (with interest/specialization in preservation), museum studies (with emphasis on collection care), and fine arts (with interest in book and paper arts).
Interns in or preparing to enter the field of Education gain hands-on experience in creating, planning and implementing museum education programs utilizing the exhibits and collections of the presidential library and museum. They participate in on-going school outreach and community collaborations. Students actively take a role in the development of educational resources, lesson plans, workshops, institutes and other special events.
Exhibit & Design
- Option 1 - An internship with the Exhibit Department allows a student to participate in the design, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of permanent, temporary and traveling exhibits. Interns would be exposed to the planning, design, fabrication and installation of an exhibit. Intern projects may include working on a storyboard, developing prototypes, envisioning exhibit elements on a variety of scales, basic graphic design and production, exhibit installation or mount making. The intern will be expected to communicate well, listen and follow directions, work in a team environment, articulate creative and imaginative problem solving ideas, think three-dimensionally, and interpret sketches, drawings and diagrams. A working knowledge of basic hand and power tools, the ability to climb ladders and stairs, lift materials up to 40 pounds, stoop, bend, kneel and utilize proper safety precautions in all tasks performed are necessary. Some experience in the workshop environment with paints, solvents, glues and other types of chemicals is possible. Some basic instruction on the handling of artifacts is also possible. College/graduate students in the fields of exhibit design, graphic design, architecture, fine art, and museum studies are encouraged to apply.
- Option 2 - Interns assisting with Design and Graphic Arts would work under the direction of the ALPLM graphic artist on general design and layouts for newspaper ads, posters, museum signage, rack cards, and various related projects for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the Museum departments of Marketing, Theater and Technical Systems, Exhibits, Education, Guest Services, Facilities Rental, or the Museum store. Applicants must have or be in the process of attaining a B.A. degree in graphic design. Strong skills in typography and general layout design as well as proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite CS3 on both Mac and PC platforms are a must. Experience with prepress preparation is desired. This intern must be highly motivated to develop and learn new creative skills and must possess solid communication and organizational skills. The applicant must submit a portfolio with the application.
Working alongside the Facility Rental Manager to market, rent, plan and produce a variety of meetings and events for rental clients, interns will assist the planning of everything from staff retreats and convention receptions to awards dinners and wedding receptions. Responsibilities will include communicating with prospective clients by phone, email, fax and in person about rental offerings and event options; assisting in the planning and production of events using our software programs including EMS and Meeting Matrix; providing tours of the Library & Museum venues; preparing for "Luncheon at the Library" and "To a Tea" events; helping to coordinate marketing efforts including website and email blasts; updating marketing databases and other special projects as they may occur.
This internship is ideal for an out-going, detail-oriented individual studying in the subject areas of hospitality who enjoys meeting people and would benefit from practical experience in event management.
An intern in the Guest Services Division would serve as the primary contact for guests visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and Union Station Visitors Center. Interns would assist in meeting and greeting museum patrons, responding to questions and concerns, processing tour groups, and assisting visitors using wheelchairs or strollers. This Intern position would also sell museum admission tickets and learn and understand the procedures/policy of operating box office sales. As needed, interns would assist in creating interactive family activities and conducting visitor studies.
As part of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the ALPLM is only one of five buildings the IT Division supports. An IT intern would assist primarily with desktop and end user support. Duties would include the configuration, installation and troubleshooting of: Operating Systems (Windows XP and Windows 7); Software (Microsoft Office Products and other common software applications); Printer and Scanners; Blackberrys, Cell Phones and Radios; IT Inventory reconciliation; preparation of equipment for surplus; desktop hardware (computers and peripherals); editing and processing of multimedia for web streaming and archiving; web page design, maintenance & updating.
Interns in the Library Services Division will gain an understanding of a research library where the focus of the collections is on Illinois history, biography, genealogy, and geography. The Division includes the Printed and Published Collection (books/pamphlets/maps), Newspapers on Microfilm, Audio-Visual, and the Manuscripts Collections. Interns may provide direct public service to library patrons and assist in the use of the online card catalog and other collection finding aids, assisting and instructing users in accessing the various online databases that are available in the Steve Neal Reading Room, retrieving books and materials from the closed stack area, conducting shelf maintenance tasks, preparing bibliographies on various topics, etc. Opportunities are also available in the Microfilming Lab and the Conservation Lab where interns may process and prepare newspapers for microfilming, learn and perform simple conservation techniques including cleaning, mending, encapsulating, and creating enclosures for library materials.
Working under the supervision of the Lincoln Curator and the Lincoln Collection staff, an intern may assist in a variety of duties depending on the current needs of the department, including: assisting in processing new materials; creating/updating finding aids or bibliographic materials and databases; assessing and implementing computer applications for data management; photocopying or scanning materials; transcribing select documents and performing relevant research; assisting in the preservation of collection materials; assisting with special projects assigned to the department. This internship is appropriate for college students, graduate students and recent graduates with an interest in history, social sciences or the humanities. Library science or information science students are encouraged to apply. Interns must have already successfully completed at least one year of college course work. Preference will be given to students who have successfully completed a course in historical or archival sources and methods or who are otherwise generally familiar with basic historical reference works and finding aids available in most college or research libraries.
Working under the supervision of Manuscripts Department staff, the intern may participate in a variety of duties including: creating/updating finding aids or bibliographic materials; translating documents; transcribing selected documents for exhibits/articles and performing relevant research; processing collections; and assisting with special projects assigned to the department. This internship is appropriate for college students, graduate students and recent graduates with an interest in history, social sciences or the humanities. Library science or information science students with an interest in archives or manuscripts are encouraged to apply. In addition, the following skills will be required: Good writing skills, basic computer skills such as word processing, familiarity with database or digital image programs, an appreciation for the fragility and uniqueness of historical materials, and able to tolerate dust and mold associated with some collection materials.
Interns in Oral History will assist the Director of Oral History in a wide variety of tasks, including the processing of oral history interviews for archiving, and for eventual posting onto the program’s web site. The position will involve assisting in all aspects of oral history processing, including maintaining the oral history database, working with photographs and documents, some editing of audio files, and preparing materials and correspondence for eventual archiving. The position will introduce interns to a wide variety of tasks and skills that will enhance their learning experience. Interns also occasionally conduct background research in support of various oral history projects. Those who enjoy history and politics have thoroughly enjoyed working with these materials.
Preference will be given to Information Technology majors or library science majors, especially those with an interest in history or political science. A thorough foundation in basic computer skills and good attention to detail are necessary prerequisites. Preference will also be given to students who have successfully completed a course in oral history, historical or archival sources and methods, or those who are otherwise generally familiar with basic historical reference works and finding aids available in most college or research libraries. In addition, the following skills are important: good writing skills, experience with word processing, familiarity with database or digital image programs, plus editing of audio or video files.
As a separate position, the program is also looking for interns who want to do video editing of existing interviews for possible use on public access or local TV venues. And as another separate position, the program is looking for interns who would develop teacher lesson plans using selected oral history interviews, with the goal of posting the lesson plans on the ALPLM Oral History web site.
Interns in the Research Department will assist staff in research for upcoming exhibitions to be featured in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum or for special projects periodically assigned to the Research Department. Interns will typically participate in identifying, locating, examining and transcribing from such historical source materials as microfilmed newspapers, period imprints, manuscripts, government and legal records, maps, and visual images. Duties may also include creating or updating bibliographic materials, collection guides, or databases, or assisting oral historians in transcriptions and other duties. Particular assignments may require research in nearby historical repositories beyond the ALPLM such as Illinois State Archives or the Sangamon Valley Collection at Springfield's public library, the Lincoln Library. Preference will be given to history majors, followed by other social science or humanities students. Preference will also be given to students who have successfully completed a course in historical or archival sources and methods or who are otherwise generally familiar with basic historical reference works and finding aids available in most college or research libraries. In addition, the following skills will be considered: Good writing skills, basic computer skills, such as word processing, familiarity with database or digital image programs, an appreciation for the fragility and uniqueness of historical materials, able to tolerate dust and mold associated with some collection materials.
Working directly with the Shows Director, the Attractions Coordinator, and/or the Technical Director, interns will be offered hands-on learning experience in the day-to-day operations the department is involved with in making the visitor experience educational and memorable.
- Option 1 - The theatre and interpretation department oversees the two theaters in the museum as well as all other areas in which the performing arts are utilized, including first-person interpretation performed in other exhibit areas in the museum, such as the Cabinet Room and Ford's Theatre exhibits. An intern would work closely with the Attractions Coordinator, learning about the inner-workings of day-to-day operation of the Shows unit and assisting with ushering in the museum's two theaters, which, in addition to the regular shows also includes special performances from time to time (such as the Museum's popular play One Destiny and From My Front Porch). Other opportunities could include portraying a living history character, storytelling, playing a musical instrument, singing in the plaza or park or researching and assisting in the creation of stories, theater pieces and the creation of characters that could be performed in various Museum programs. Students with theater background or musical skills are encouraged to apply. For Theater-Acting students we offer a semester or summer session experience in creating short theater pieces for performance in museum exhibits and other performance spaces. This entails research, writing and performing a project. Time spent as an intern can be specialized for writing, directing and acting students at the discretion of the Shows Director.
- Option 2 - The Technical Systems Department oversees the day-to-day operation and maintenance of all show and event-related electronics. This includes all inter-actives as well as video, audio, lighting and special effects used throughout the museum and two theaters to enhance visitors' experience. This department also oversees each production adding audio, lighting and video support as needed and assists in new exhibit design and installation to support new and ever-changing technologies. Students in museum studies and theater production with strong tendencies toward electronics and computer-aided productions are encouraged to apply.
Interns in the Volunteer Services Department would assist professional staff in a variety of functions, including recruiting, training and scheduling volunteers, assisting volunteers on special projects and special events, facilitating large mailings and the production of a regular departmental newsletter, creating and organizing training sessions and materials, and performing basic office tasks, clerical duties and record keeping.
Special Projects are often grant-funded internships which may include a stipend. These internships are frequently available on short notice and thus are not governed by other intern program deadlines. Applications for these positions are accepted on an as needed basis. No special projects are currently available.~
- Completed and signed InternAppForm2017.pdf (also signed by advisor)
- 2 Letters of Recommendation, to include:
- College transcript (a photocopy is acceptable)
- Letter of interest stating reasons for wanting to be an intern at the ALPLM, including:
- Expectations of intern experience
- How the internship relates to career plans
- What he/she believes they can contribute to the Museum and/or Library
- Special interests and abilities
- Specific information including: dates available to work; number of hours per week; number and days available to work
- If doing this for university credit, supply school requirements and advisor's name and contact information
Mail or email to:
Director of Education
212 North Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701Genevieve.Kaplan@illinois.gov