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Museum Intern

Museum Intern Overview
Interns assist in the everyday purposes of a Museum. From office tasks to long-term projects, museums could not function without interns. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) defines an internship as an apprenticeship or training program for someone whose primary interest is preparing for a career in museums.
Interns will concentrate primarily in one of the following areas depending on the intern's level of experience, course of study, and interest: Educational, Visitor Services, Collections, Exhibit Development, or Research. See below for a description of each opportunity available.
General Objectives:
To obtain a wide-ranging overview of Museum operations and understand what comprises Museum education, visitor services, collections management, and exhibit development.
Requirements and Guidelines:
Interns must be working towards a degree in one of the following fields: History, Anthropology, American Studies, Museum Studies or equivalent.
The Museum prefers students who have experience volunteering for a historical organization.
Internships at DuPage County Historical Museum are unpaid.
Hours: 210 hours (15 hours per week over the course of 14 continuous weeks)
Intern Descriptions
EDUCATIONAL
Observe and assist with educational programs including school groups, scouts, and family programs. The intern will also help develop a comprehensive educational plan in accordance with Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science as well as curriculums for school districts throughout DuPage County.
Education Interns work with the Museum Manager and Educator in the presentation of participatory programs to school groups and family programs. Greeting visiting groups; demonstrating the program activities, working with individual participants and other tasks are included. In addition, the interns answer general questions about the Museum and provide supervision. Potential programs include holiday related arts and crafts, photography projects and Museum summer camps.
Requirements:
Educational Interns must be out-going; people oriented, and interact well with children of all ages. Interns are expected to be able to vary presentation style to suit both adults and children. Previous educational experience would be useful. Some knowledge of DuPage County history is helpful and appropriate related history readings will be required.
Goals:
Provide audience with accurate, quality information about the Museum as a part of the community.
Understand upcoming Museum programs and content.
Research program materials and provide Museum Manager and Educator with suggestions to enhance the content.
Develop personal techniques that are in keeping with Museum policy to inform, guide, and assist.
Allow students to show what they know.
VISITOR SERVICES
Greet visitors at the reception desk and answer general visitor questions in order to gain an understanding of Museum visitors and their needs. Interns should be able to exhibit complete knowledge of the Museum's history, architecture and exhibits. Leading groups on guided tours including information on the history of the building, architecture, permanent exhibits, and changing exhibits is a part of the responsibilities of a Visitor Services Intern.
Requirements:
Although interns will go through extensive training, previous knowledge of DuPage County history will be helpful. Docents must be comfortable speaking in front of large groups. Docents must be able to adjust tours to the needs of the different groups (i.e. school children versus a group of seniors). Occasionally, tours will be altered to visitors requests, and docents must be able to adapt (i.e. Boy Scouts are often here to find out how people lived in the past to earn a badge, docents must adapt to bring that out in the tour). Advanced notice of these situations will be given so that docents can adequately prepare. Reception desk interns must be outgoing, people-oriented individuals.
Goals:
Provide audience with accurate, quality information about the Museum as a part of the community.
Understand upcoming Museum programs and content.
Develop personal techniques that are in keeping with Museum policy to inform, guide, and assist.
Allow students to show what they know.
Provide reports of the tours and keep Museum Manager and Educator updated on frequently asked questions, challenges, and successes.
Enthusiastically greet patrons and guests.
Answer telephone and direct calls to appropriate persons.
Learn and retain basic Museum history.
Assist with mailings and office work.
Understand current programs the Museum is offering and inform guests about them.
Keep desk area tidy and organized.
Refresh brochures and eliminate outdated material.
Assist with gift shop inventory and customer inquiries.
COLLECTIONS
Assist with building monitoring, pest control and exhibit housekeeping. Observe and assist with collections processing, including assessing and researching artifacts for collections review, cataloging two and three dimensional materials, and assisting with photography and storage. Help complete an inventory of the Museum's collection.
Requirements:
Collections interns must be thorough, detail-oriented individuals. For some areas, specific object knowledge is desired. Interns will receive training on the Museum's procedures and general artifact handling guidelines. Experience with data entry and computer software will be valuable as the project moves forward. Interns will also assist with evaluations of collection pieces and identify possible restoration projects. Some knowledge of DuPage County history is helpful and appropriate related history readings will be required. Previous library or archival experience is desired.
Goals:
Rectify issues within the collection regarding accurate location, accession number, and description.
Understand the nomenclature files, alpha files, and accession information.
File proper paperwork for documenting artifact history.
Properly understand the handling of archives and sensitive artifacts.
Become trained on using proper equipment to document the collection.
Assist the Curator with information on status of collection.
EXHIBIT DEVELOPMENT
Assist with the development of upcoming exhibits, including photographic research, artifact research, interactive development, and programs.
Requirements:
Exhibit Development interns must be thorough, detail-oriented individuals. For some areas, specific object knowledge is desired. Interns will receive training on the Museum's procedures and general artifact handling guidelines. Some knowledge of DuPage County history is helpful and appropriate related history readings will be required.
Goals:
Develop an understanding of exhibit labels, interpretations, and content.
File proper paperwork for documenting artifact history.
Properly understand the handling of archives and sensitive artifacts.
Become trained on using proper equipment to document the collection.
Assist the Curator and Manager and Educator with usable materials for possible activities or user friendly highlights to the exhibit.
RESEARCH
Assist with research inquiries from the general public, other organizations, future exhibits, and large scale community projects.
Requirements:
Experience with research and archives are desired. Training and discussion on the Museum's archives and resources will be discussed. Exceptional customer service skills are desired.
Goals:
Become well versed in DuPage County History.
Properly document research request findings while working with Museum Assistant.
Understand the organization of the vertical files as well as the research library.
Become acquainted with local contacts that are often utilized in research for the museum.



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