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Summer Internships

The Dumbarton Oaks internship program offers Harvard students stimulating and fulfilling paid internships in the humanities. Apply by February 15.

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Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, in Washington, DC, is an institute of Harvard University that supports scholarship in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies. Located in the historic district of Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks includes a museum with outstanding collections of Byzantine, Pre-Colombian, and European art; a state-of-the-art research library; and beautiful gardens designed by renowned landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, which are open to the public.

As a research institute affiliated with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Dumbarton Oaks has offered summer internships to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students of Harvard for more than a decade. Interns have worked on a variety of institutional projects ranging from online exhibits and garden excavations to preparation of publications and the mounting of exhibitions.

The 2024 term of summer internship appointments is from Monday, June 3 to Friday, August 3. Summer internships carry a stipend of $17/hour for a 35-hour week. Housing and weekday lunches in the Refectory (except for scheduled closures) are provided. For more details, please write to

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To apply for an internship, please upload your résumé; a statement of interest describing any relevant experience and how this internship fits into your academic and professional development; and two references who are familiar with your scholarly work on the Embark application portal. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2024.

Applicants/interns must be actively enrolled in Harvard University at the time of application and during the internship term.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work as a team
  • Excellent communication skills

Dumbarton Oaks welcomes applicants with disabilities and is committed to ensure an accessible, welcoming application process and working environment for individuals with disabilities while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. If you would like to request an accommodation to apply for a job opening, or if you have questions about the physical access provided, please reach out to Human Resources (; 202-924-9867). 

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

2024 Internship Opportunities

Arts Education and Outreach Internship (2 internships available)

Do you have an interest in using arts and digital media to creatively engage young learners and families? Since 2015, Dumbarton Oaks has entered a new phase of community outreach through the development of educational initiatives for K–12 students to increase equity and access to the arts and humanities in the DC metro region. Our educational philosophy is to close opportunity gaps by providing experiential learning programs that advance knowledge, engage with the collections, and inspire our audiences aesthetically, visually, and intellectually.

Under the supervision of the Education Manager and in collaboration with the Public Programming and Outreach Fellow, the intern will help develop, prototype, and deliver educational programming and resources, assist with implementation of the 5-week summer program delivered in partnership with Horizons Greater Washington for rising middle school students, contribute to Dumbarton Oaks’ social media platforms, and other duties as assigned.

As a project-based capstone, the intern will work with the Education team to create hands-on arts activities for programming and educational resources for K-12 student/teacher and/or family audiences inspired by Dumbarton Oaks’ world class collections and historic gardens. The project will be tailored to the intern’s interests and skillsets related to arts and digital media.

The intern will gain knowledge and experience with employing museum pedagogy such as close-looking, connecting to K-12 curriculum, bridging scholarship and interpretive practices through creative accessible ways for meaning-making, and implementing DEAI practices. We welcome applicants with a strong interest in arts learning, equity and access in the arts and humanities, and museum education.

Special skills preferred: strong communication and research skills; proficiency with design software; enjoy interacting with K-12 students; a desire to work as part of a collaborative team; and skills in traditional and/or digital art forms and techniques.

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library Internship

The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML) Intern will help prepare volumes for publication in the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. They will read, edit, and comment on the Byzantine Greek, medieval Iberian, medieval Latin, and Old English subseries submissions, ensuring that texts, translations, notes, and all other parts of the submission adhere to DOML style guidelines. As model readers, interns make sure that submissions are in line with our mission of making texts and translations accessible to scholars and educated non-specialists alike.

Interns will be trained to identify and standardize medieval Latin orthography, to copyedit and proofread for DOML style, and to interact diplomatically with translators. They will also learn the process by which a proposal becomes a published volume, and observe firsthand how texts are translated into English, often for the first time. This summer they will again have the opportunity to bolster DOML’s social media presence.

This summer, we particularly welcome applicants with a background in Old English, but also would offer preference to those with knowledge of at least one of the other languages covered by the series (Latin, Ancient or Byzantine Greek, Medieval Castilian, Medieval Portuguese).

Maya Ceramics Documentation Project Internship

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) offers an internship to research, catalogue, and deliver online information about painted Maya pottery from the Classic period (ca. 250-900 C.E.). The intern will be trained in the standards and practices for cataloging photographs of Maya pottery by the staff of the ICFA and will consult with ICFA’s post-doctoral fellow in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology for research questions and methodology. The intern will gain a firm understanding of the current state of scholarship in Maya iconography and epigraphy, learning to “read” Maya art. They will also learn about the history of collecting of Maya pottery and acquire significant experience in the field of Digital Humanities through contributing to the online catalog of the Kerr photographic collection.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in the art, archaeology, and epigraphy of the ancient Maya. Special skills preferred: Excellent time-management and organizational skills; attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to work independently and creatively. Ability to read Spanish. Some familiarity with pre-Columbian Maya art desirable.

Archival Image Cataloging: Tunisian Mosaics Internship

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) offers an internship to research, catalogue, and deliver online archival visual materials depicting an archaeological survey of Late Roman and Byzantine mosaics in Tunisia. The intern will be trained in standards and practices for the cataloguing and archival processing of visual materials by staff of ICFA and will consult with ICFA’s Post-doctoral Fellow in Byzantine Art History for research questions and methodology. The intern will gain a firm understanding of the architectural and topographical terrain of the Mediterranean region and will familiarize themself with the actions involved in the documentation and preservation of cultural heritage. The intern will acquire significant experience in the field of Digital Humanities through planning for the online delivery of the physical collections.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in the culture and history of North Africa; or in archival work. Special skills preferred: Excellent time-management and organizational skills; attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to work independently and creatively. Knowledge of French would be beneficial, although not required.

The Stimulant Sea: Sugar, Coffee, and the Acquisition of Taste Internship

Dumbarton Oaks is seeking an intern to assist in the curation of the upcoming exhibition, The Stimulant Sea: Coffee, Sugar, and the Acquisition of Taste. The exhibition will explore how these mind-altering substances entered global culture through the Red Sea corridor, and how they became the central foci of social rituals from Persia in the east to England in the west. The intern will gain valuable experience in the curation process, loan acquisition, Adobe suite programs, exhibition design, and research skills.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in Museum Studies, as well as Byzantine, Ottoman, Dutch Colonial, and/or Early Modern history. Special skills preferred: strong research and writing skills, basic knowledge of Adobe suite programs and Microsoft Office.

Plant Humanities Internship

The Plant Humanities internship is an ideal opportunity for students interested in the environmental and public humanities and passionate about biodiversity and cultural history. The intern will contribute to the Plant Humanities Lab, a flagship digital humanities project that supports the growing interdisciplinary field of plant humanities. The internship includes research in the special collections of Dumbarton Oaks and partner institutions, as well as structured training in digital tools and methodologies. The intern will also be encouraged to participate in relevant seminars and lectures of the Plant Humanities Summer Program and to join the cohort for the site visit to Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Virginia. The intern will then research, create, and code a visual narrative focused on plants for digital publication, and develop associated social media content. Past Harvard students have contributed essays on carnivorous plants and transatlantic botany networks; foodways and the legacy of enslaved peoples; and environmental justice and food security through the lens of genetically modified crops.

We welcome applicants from plant science, the history of science and art, the environmental humanities, literature, anthropology, and other disciplines. Successful candidates will demonstrate a strong interest in plants and people and a desire to develop and hone their digital and communication skills and engage with special collections. Special skills preferred: Experience with digital or public humanities advantageous but not required as training will be provided; good writing skills; willingness to work in a collaborative environment that includes researchers, curators, scientists, and developers.