Collections Intern

Internship Title: Collections Intern
Internship Department: Biology – Collections
Supervisor: Director of Collections

Objective: The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s (CAS/PNNM) natural history collections are a library of the natural world documenting Midwestern biodiversity from 1830 to the present. Glass plate negatives from the audiovisual collection taken between 1898 to 1941 illustrate ecosystems that have undergone significant ecological changes and can provide important contributions to current ecological research and discussions. Through a grant awarded from the Illinois State Historical Records grant program, CAS/PNNM will digitize glass plates documenting Illinois localities and provide online access to these historic images.

Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the Director of Collections, the intern will expand descriptive and administrative metadata for a minimum of 500 glass plate negatives, using online and hard copy resources for subject matter such as species identification and geographic localities. They will scan these glass plates,
append metadata to the digital copies, and prepare data for upload to the Explore website. They will assist in the formation of environmental tags for the Explore system, which will be applied to the digital copies and be made available for other CCC members.

Final Product(s): By the end of the internship, the intern will have improved the descriptive and administrative metadata for at least 500 glass plate negatives in CAS/PNNM’s collection and made these available online through the Chicago Collections Consortium’s Explore portal and Internet Archive, expanding access to these images for scholarly and educational use.

Qualifications: The applicant should have some education relating to or experience working with museum collections and/or archives. They must be self-motivated, detail oriented, have strong organizational skills, and able to follow directions. They must be familiar with MS Excel. Familiarity with scanning and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom) is beneficial. Applicants must be able to lift 25 lbs, climb ladders, and work within 32-inch aisles.

Minimum GPA: 2.5
Desired Year in School: Preference will be given to candidates with some university experience.
Desired Majors: Preference will be given to those with a background in museum studies, archives, libraries, and/or the natural sciences.

Learning Potential: This internship will build upon knowledge and skills relating to archival and scientific collections and digitization as a means of expanding accessibility to collections. The intern will be introduced to standards pertaining to audiovisual collections and gain hands-on experience working with historic
photographic media and metadata.

Compensation: $12.50 / hour.
Time Commitment: This internship has a total of 400 hours, to be completed by the end of the grant, June 30, 2019. Work will be conducted at CAS/PNNM’s off-site Ravenswood Collections Facility (4001 N Ravenswood Ave.). Office hours at the collections facility are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 9am – 5pm. The intern’s schedule will be coordinated with Collections staff.

How to Apply: Email resume and cover letter in PDF or Word format to

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Sept. 21, 2018