University of Iowa Museum Studies
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University of Iowa Museum Studies Program


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Museum Studies - Internships

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Instructions for 24:180 Museum Internship
Students are required to complete 3 s.h. of internship credit.  This can be completed at an institution of the student’s choosing, but first must be approved by the Director.  In the past, students have elected to complete internships at both museums in Iowa City and also off-campus and abroad (e.g., Old Capitol Museum, Johnson County Historical Society, The British Museum, The Jewish Museum of NY, The Field Museum). 

To arrange an internship, students may either contact a potential supervisor themselves or through their Museum Studies Internship Advisor. This advisor may be any Museum Studies Faculty. Students register for 024:180:IND (MUSM:4080:0IND) Museum Internship under the advisor's instructor number. You MUST register under this course to receive a grade for your internship and to count it towards the certificate. For assistance with setting up an internship, please contact Tiffany Adrain.

The Museum Studies Internship Package contains all the materials you need for your internship with instructions on reporting and assignments.

Download the Museum Studies Internship Package here.

: If you have completed your internship requirement for 24:180 but wish to do additional internships, visit the Pomerantz Career Center website for information on registering voluntary internships (no tuition, 0 credit, added to your transcript):
Make sure you read the Internship Agreement and Requirements.


Internships available for Fall 2014

For a list of University of Iowa museums and research collections see University of Iowa Collections Coalition homepage.

UI Hospitals and Clinics/Project Art

Johnson County Historical Society

Herbert Hoover Presidental Library and Museum

UI Museum of Art

UI Pentacrest Museums: Museum of Natural History

UI Pentacrest Museums: Old Capitol Museum

UI Paleontology Repository

The University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame

UI Libraries Special Collections

State Historical Society of Iowa

UI Hospitals and Clinics, Project Art

Museum Researcher/Writer. 2 s.h. internship (6 hours per week)

Perform research on approximately 12 Persian carpets in the UIHC Project Art collection.  Identify the region they are from, what they were used for and who may have produced them.  Also, techniques, dyes used and any other information about them.  We can provide some limited information.  Compose labels containing relevant and interesting data on these materials for hospital patients, staff and visitors.

Adrienne Drapkin
UIHC Project Art, Medical Museum
8014 RCP
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242



Johnson County Historical Society (ongoing)

: Submit the application form and cover letter along with your resume/CV and two professional references to or send to:
Johnson County Historical Society
P.O. Box 5081
Coralville, IA 52241

  • Your cover letter should include which internship you wish to be considered for.

Curatorial Assistant
Objective:   Assist the Curator with the cataloging of one or more accessioned but unprocessed collections in the Johnson County Historical Society museum collections.

  • Surveying and appraising unprocessed materials
  • Organizing, cataloging, numbering items in the collection. 
  • Identifying special storage considerations for items and developing storage plan for the collection.
  • Preparing cataloging sheets for objects and entering information into JCHS’ PastPerfect collections database.

Experience:  Some basic work with museum artifacts or collections care course. 
Possible Fields of Study:  Museum Studies, History, American Studies, Public History, Library Science

Collections Inventory Assistant
Objective:  With the supervision of the JCHS Curator, the Schoolhouse Inventory Assistant will inventory artifacts currently stored in the upstairs of the 1876 Coralville Schoolhouse Museum. 

  • Completing inventory sheets and condition reports
  • Photographing objects
  • Updating information about objects on the PastPerfect database
  • Conducting some artifact research. 

Experience:  Some basic work with museum artifacts or Collections Care course.  Knowledge of digital camera and basic research skills are helpful.  Must be detail-oriented and able to work independently.
Possible Fields of Study:  Museum Studies, History, American Studies

Exhibit  Assistant
Objective:  The Exhibits Assistant will work with the JCHS Curator and Education Coordinator on developing and installing exhibits.

  • Work with curator and education coordinator to select exhibit topics and work to design and install exhibits.
  • Identify JCHS artifacts and mount/display needs.
  • Research exhibit topic and artifacts.
  • Develop and implement design ideas.
  • Write exhibit text and artifact labels.
  • Set-up exhibits.

Experience: Some experience working with museum artifacts.  Collections Care for Museum Artifacts Course and beginning exhibit design class a plus.  Some design experience helpful.
Possible Majors of Interest:  Theater, Museum Studies, History, Art History

Marketing/Outreach Assistant
Objective: The marketing/outreach intern will work under the direction of the outreach coordinator to develop, market, and implement JCHS events as well as provide daily administrative assistance for a staff of two.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- general office administrative tasks;
- process outgoing correspondence;
- membership services;
- guest services;
- prepare mailings;
- event planning and set-up
- work on special projects as assigned.
Experience: This position requires the ability to multi-task and work independently. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel are required. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of one year administrative experience in a fast-paced office setting.
Possible Majors of Interest: History, Museum Studies.

Oral History Transcriber
Objective:  The Oral History Transcriber will transcribe oral histories in the JCHS oral history collection on a variety of different subjects following JCHS procedures and transcription templates. 

  • Create printed transcription for each oral history following established template.
  • Complete oral history subject index worksheet.
  • Enter information about interview into JCHS PastPerfect database.

Experience:  Must be proficient keyboardist, basic experience with Microsoft Word.
Possible Majors of Interest:  History, Public History, Journalism, Museum Studies

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum (

Curatorial Department
Title:  Curatorial Intern
Number of positions:  2
Compensation:  Unpaid; No housing provided.
Time Commitment:  ongoing and flexible during the hours of 8:00am- 4:00pm, Monday-Friday
Note: we prefer 200+ Hours (10 weeks, 20 hrs per week) but we will adjust to student schedules 

The museum internship program at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library – Museum offers real world museum experience to students interested in pursuing a career within the field. The internship is restricted to upper level undergraduate and graduate students. We assign a variety of collections and exhibits related projects to our interns. Within the sphere of collections, interns work on a variety of tasks, such as data-entry, cataloging, assessing storage conditions, cleaning, inventorying and condition reporting; geared to impart knowledge on proper collections management practices. Our interns also spend some time on exhibit related projects, such as exhibit installation, label writing, mount-making, lighting, environmental monitoring, and assisting with artifact loans.

Summer interns are encouraged to participate in Hoover's Hometown Days the first weekend of August.

Supervision:  Melanie Wier, Assistant Curator (Marcus Eckhardt, Curator and Jennifer Pedersen, Registrar)


  • Interest in working with museum collections.
  • Intern should be detail oriented, organized, and able to work independently. 
  • Must be able to work as a team and accept constructive criticism.
  • Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.
  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs.
  • Average or above average level of computer literacy (Skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, Excel, Access, and a collection database would be an advantage but is not required).
  • Must be eager to learn and ask questions.


  • Dress code is business casual to smart casual.

  • Intern is responsible for own transportation and housing.

Application materials are due by: rolling application- but to secure a semester internship applications are due two months before the start of the semester.
 To apply, send cover letter, resume, and at least two references to
Melanie Wier, Assistant Curator, 210 Parkside Drive, P.O. Box 488, West Branch, IA 52358 OR e-mail the above information to

UI Museum of Art

UIMA School Programs Intern (opportunities for several students)
Intern will be trained in the content, care and handling of the collections. Intern will do presentations of UIMA School Programs Collections at area K-12 schools. The intern will also research, aid in the development of lesson plans, help with communication—both verbal and written—between the volunteer docents and UIMA staff, and document UIMA Docent-led presentations. This opportunity requires the ability to communicate effectively and good organization skills. Interested students should send a resume and writing sample to Dale Fisher (, UIMA Curator of Education.

Paleontology Repository

Contact Tiffany Adrain

1. Paleobotany Curation Project. Come and help us rehouse and catalogue the fossil plant collection! Tasks involve labelling and cataloguing fossil plant specimens, organizing colections, helping us move to new storage space, historic research, photography, investigating new methods of collection care and management, and possible scientific investigation of some specimens.

2. Iowa's Fossil Hunters: Preserve and digitize historic collection labels and investigate the history of fossil collecting in Iowa. Contribute to our website.

3: Card catalogue Preservation: There is no back-up for our 70,000+ catalogue cards! Help us preserve and digitize the collection catalogue by scanning cards, digitizing data, and locating specimens.

UI Pentacrest Museums

Various internship opportunities are available for 1, 2, or 3 s.h., or non-credit volunteer work

Insect Cataloging, UI Museum of Natural History   
Catalog insect specimens and enter specimen data into insect database.  Student will work at UIMNH and be trained in the use of database software.  Requires careful handling of pinned insect specimens and accurate work with attention to detail.  Experience with reading old handwritten script is a plus.Contact Cindy Opitz, Collections Manager,

The University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame: Exhibits

The University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum is the home of Hawkeye athletic history.  Housing many trophies and memorabilia from Iowa’s rich athletics history, the Hall of Fame also serves as the venue for many University and community events.  The Trademark Licensing Program manages licensee use of University of Iowa Trademarks.  The University of Iowa is one of the only Big Ten Universities that fully independently manages its own trademark. The University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum and Trademark Licensing Program both offer a variety of internships that apply to many different majors.  Housed in the same building and under the same management, both Hall of Fame and Trademark Licensing Program positions offer interns a chance to develop crucial business skills such as event management, customer relations, business communication, and project management, among others.  Applicants for the Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum and Trademark Licensing program internships should possess these six characteristics: Be a lifelong learner, be self-motivated, be responsible, be thoughtful, be an independent decision maker, and be a team player.

The Exhibit internship involves the following:
- Organizing all artifacts in storage that are not on display
- Gathering information and pieces from Hawkeye Sports History to build exhibits
- Keeping exhibits updated/assist in large project renovations
In addition to:
- Working in a team for basic facility operations (hours, responsibilities, etc.)
- General event management
- Supervision of the facility during operation hours
- Event set-up
- Continuous correspondence with our volunteers (Hall of Fame Ambassadors)

Click here for general Hall of Fame internship information. Hours for the unpaid Exhibits Internship for Museum Studies students are negotiable depending on registered semester hours.

Contact: Dale Arens, Trademark Licensing Director. Email: Phone: 319 384 2000

UI Libraries Special Collections

Contact Greg Prickman

Internship goals and objectives

To become familiar with Special Collections storage areas and strategies;
To experience several operational routines and to repeat them sufficiently to develop comfortable and efficient skills; examples may include: shelf reading books collections; removing materials from scrapbooks; organizing pamphlets or correspondence alphabetically or chronologically; creating bibliographic lists or folder inventories;  
To gain a sense of the variety of materials and activities characteristic of larger Special Collections departments.   

Strategy for achieving goals (anticipated activities): interns will be assigned a number of specific tasks over time and will have general discussions with staff.  Interns are encouraged to ask questions and prompt discussions:  “Why am I doing this?”  “What should I learn from this task?”

Means of evaluation: evaluation will vary with tasks.  Some tasks are easily checked for completeness and thoroughness, others may be reviewed more generally.  Interns will be judged in part on their ability to ask relevant and penetrating questions.

State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City

Contact Mary Bennett

  • Archival processing of historical manuscripts and photographs relating to certain topics or individuals (photographer Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, Iowa City Airport Commission, labor union records, Knights of Columbus newsletters, etc.)
  • Inventory and organization of artifacts and manuscripts relating to Emily Gillespie (farm wife who kept a diary, 1858-1888)
  • Intergrating new maps into existing collection and identifying in database
  • Inventories on the WWW – assist in getting html format inventories posted on SHSI website by creating *.pdf files or typing inventories
  • Assisting paper conservator with mending and preservation of Civil War muster rolls
  • Preview and assemble historical 16 mm news film using flat-bed editing table
  • Create a small exhibit in the case in our lobby 4’ x 4’ x 18”.
  • Assist with reference duties using primary source collections of manuscripts, photographs, maps, oral histories, film, etc.



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