Internship: Archives Collection Management, Chicago History Museum

22 Mar 2017 4:16 PM | Janet Olson (Administrator)

Hiring Manager: Julie Wroblewski, Archivist for Archives & Manuscripts,, 312-799-2013

The Chicago History Museum (CHM) seeks an intern or practicum student to assist in an ongoing project to improve access to its archives & manuscript collections, particularly its sound materials and institutional archives. The student will learn to apply the core archival concepts of assessing, arranging, and describing collections as well as minimal processing (a.k.a. More Product Less Process or MPLP) and records management methodology. In addition to creating and updating EAD-encoded finding aids, the student will learn how collections are acquired, processed, and documented by the Museum; to consult and understand MARC records, collection assessment reports and other custodial documentation; and to implement proper archival housing and preservation techniques. The specific tasks expected for this project include:

-          Working with Archivist and Research Center staff to identify and address additional processing and collection management needs for sound materials

-          Working with Archivist and Research Center staff to evaluate institutional archives materials for processing

-          Working with the Archivist to develop and document acquisition, retention, and access procedures for institutional materials

-          Processing according to CHM's processing guidelines

-          Assessing and addressing preservation issues, including rehousing materials where necessary

-          Creating, assessing, and updating finding aids using EAD

-          Researching custodial history, copyright, and possible restrictions for specific collections

-          Updating policies, procedures, and training materials related to finding aid creation and encoding

-          Should time and interest permit, assisting with other archives duties as they arise, including new acquisitions and deaccessioning duties.

This position will begin the week of May 15, 2017.  This position requires a minimum of 12 hours a week for the full semester; hours must be scheduled weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00pm.


  • Completion of introductory coursework in archival studies
  • Working knowledge of archival arrangement and description 
  • Enrollment in or recent completion of a graduate-level accredited MLIS or comparable program.
  • Commitment of a minimum of 12 hours a week for a minimum of 10 weeks
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong writing and research skills
  • Selected applicants will undergo a mandatory criminal background screening. 


  • Working knowledge of data content standards like DACS or AACR2
  • Working knowledge of XML or related schema

Archives & Manuscripts Collections Description

The Chicago History Museum's Archive and Manuscript holdings include records produced by individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area that document significant aspects of life in the city, suburbs, region, and state from 1683 to the present. The holdings also include important material related to American history that documents the nation’s development from the 1770s to the 1870s.

The collection is particularly informative on the Chicago area's early history, social conditions and problems, 20th-century neighborhood life, community organizations, African American history, ethnic history, women's history, civil rights, politics, religious-centered social action, labor unions, environmental concerns, and education.

About the Chicago History Museum

Founded in 1856, the Chicago History Museum (CHM) is the city’s oldest cultural institution and home to over 22 million objects, including documents, books, fine and decorative arts, costumes, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. Nationally recognized for its collections, CHM specializes in the diverse and evolving history of Chicago, as well as selected areas of regional and American history. CHM’s mission is to share Chicago’s stories, serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration, and civic engagement.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter expressing interest in and qualifications for the position and a current resume outlining relevant experience and skills to Julie Wroblewski (, Archivist for Archives & Manuscripts at the Chicago History Museum. This internship may be completed as a practicum for credit; please indicate in your application materials if you intend to pursue credit. Any questions about the position also can be directed to her. Deadline for applications is April 17, 2017.


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