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Summer Internships

The Dumbarton Oaks internship program stands out for offering Harvard students stimulating and fulfilling paid internships in the humanities. Apply by March 1.

The call for the Cataloguing and Exhibition of Byzantine Seals Internship has been extended until April 1. Please visit Crimson Careers for more information and to apply online.

Over the past decade, Dumbarton Oaks has been at the forefront of skill-building opportunities for Harvard students interested in the humanities. The institute offers an array of immersive, hands-on summer opportunities in areas such as library and archival acquisitions and cataloguing; exhibition development; scholarly publications; social media and communications; museum education and public programs; and the digital humanities. Dumbarton Oaks internships are premised on our conviction that when provided with impactful and meaningful projects, working alongside our professional staff in a highly collaborative environment, students in the early stages of their academic career develop broader interests in careers in the humanities and a better understanding of the role of cultural organizations.

The 2021 term of summer internship appointments is from June 7 to August 6, 2021. Internships will be virtual in the summer of 2021, and applicants must be currently enrolled students at Harvard University (pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees) at the time of application and throughout the internship term. Successful applicants will be expected to have the necessary equipment (e.g. computer, internet access) in order to fulfill their role. Dumbarton Oaks offers an hourly rate of $16/hour, with a 35-hour work week observed. For more details, please write to

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To apply for an internship, applicants should submit the following by March 1 via Crimson Careers:

  • your résumé
  • a statement of interest describing any relevant experience and how this internship fits into your professional development
  • the names of two referees familiar with your scholarly work, along with their titles and contact information.

“I love the collegial atmosphere at Dumbarton Oaks, the interesting mix of scholars from different fields of expertise, the dynamic variety of projects hosted by one institution, and the mission of increasing accessibility to our library and collection that DO has. I think it was the perfect summer internship for a humanities student, and would highly recommend it to other students.”

– Dumbarton Oaks Summer Intern, 2019


2021 Internship Opportunities


Archival Image Cataloguing Internship: North Africa, Egypt, and the Eastern Mediterranean

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) offers an internship to research, catalogue, and deliver online archival visual materials pertaining to Byzantine and other styles of art and architecture throughout Northern Africa and the Levant. The intern will be trained in standards and practices for the cataloguing and archival processing of visual materials by the staff of the ICFA and will consult with ICFA’s Postdoctoral 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 architecture, or the culture and history of the Mediterranean, North Africa, or Egypt. Knowledge of French, German, or Arabic is preferred.


Curatorial Internship: 75 Years of Music at Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks enjoys a reputation as a musical venue of particular renown and has hosted a public concert series for 75 years. To mark this anniversary, we are developing an online exhibit to document the history of music and musicians associated with our institution. The intern will have the opportunity to cocurate this online exhibit and contribute to planning of other aspects of the 75th anniversary celebration.

A solid familiarity with 20th-century music and performance is required, preferably reflected in coursework. Experience with or willingness to learn web content management and archival practice is preferred.


Cataloguing and Exhibition of Byzantine Seals Internship

This internship, focused on the collection of seals at Dumbarton Oaks, provides interns with the opportunity to work on all aspects of a collection: from cataloguing and publishing the objects to preparing to present them to the public in an exhibition. The first part of the internship will focus on the cataloguing and online publication of our collection of over 17,000 Byzantine lead seals. These objects are a fascinating source for Byzantine social, religious, administrative, military, and art history. Cataloguing them involves describing religious imagery and deciphering and translating inscriptions in Greek. 

Interns will also get the opportunity to help with the final stages of the upcoming exhibition Lasting Impressions, scheduled to open in September 2021. This exhibition showcases the collection of seals and the cataloguing work in which the intern will be engaged. 

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in Byzantine studies, material culture, and museum studies. A reading knowledge of ancient or medieval Greek is required.


Digital Plant Humanities Internship

The Plant Humanities Initiative at Dumbarton Oaks, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), offers a summer internship to conduct research, develop an online collection, write social media content, and create a digital narrative focused on plants. We welcome applications from students in the sciences, arts, and humanities who have a strong interest in plants and a desire to develop their digital and communication skills. The Plant Humanities Initiative seeks to promote understanding of the crucial role of plants and their deep entanglement with human culture at a time of accelerated extinctions and habitat and biodiversity loss. The Biodiversity Heritage Library is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature. The intern will work with experts at both institutions to acquire digital skills and conduct research in digitized natural history collections to accomplish two main projects. The first is an interactive, visual essay on the cultural history of a plant for the Plant Humanities Lab, an open access portal developed by Dumbarton Oaks and JSTOR Labs. The second is a BHL online collection and associated social media content. The intern will benefit from structured training, will attend meetings with peers and experts at both institutions, and may participate in select seminars and lectures of the Plant Humanities Summer Program.


Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library Internship

Interns will help prepare volumes for publication in the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML). They will read, edit, and comment on the Byzantine Greek, 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.

We particularly welcome applicants with a background in at least one of the languages covered by the series (Latin, Ancient or Byzantine Greek, or Old English).


Open Access Special Collections Internship

The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library offers an internship to broaden access to Dumbarton Oaks digitized resources. The intern will work with the Manager of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA), in collaboration with the Digital Content Manager, to upload digitized materials from ICFA, the Rare Book Collection, and Publications to Wikimedia and the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons License. The intern will complement the uploads by creating Wikipedia articles on sites depicted in the images or enhancing existing articles which lack imagery.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in digital humanities, open access, or library and digital archival practices

Excellent time-management and organizational skills, attention to detail, and a demonstrated ability to work independently are required. Some familiarity with command line interfaces and Python would be beneficial, though not required. 


Public Programming and Outreach Internship

Since 2015, Dumbarton Oaks has entered a new phase of community engagement through the development of educational initiatives for K–12 students across DC. We offer immersive programming with an emphasis on object-based experiential learning and repeat visits. Under the guidance of the Education Manager and in collaboration with museum and special collections staff, the Public Programming and Outreach intern will gain varied and hands-on experience in planning, preparing, and executing education and public programs centered on Dumbarton Oaks’ museum collections and historic garden. The intern will assist with all aspects of our summer programming centered on the Byzantine and Pre-Columbian collections and delivered in partnership with schools and non-profit organizations. The intern will also assist with creating educational resources for teachers, students, and families. In addition, the intern will contribute to Dumbarton Oaks’ social media platforms to share the collections with the public.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in museum education, outreach and marketing, special collections, and equitable access to the arts and humanities.

Applicants with experiences in K–12 student teaching, museum tours, or public events are desirable.


Publications Internship: Classic Titles Online

The Publications department at Dumbarton Oaks offers an internship to help make our titles available to a worldwide audience. We are working to convert our classic titles to be available via free downloads and print-on-demand. The intern will be processing prescanned book files and preparing them for various forms of distribution: print-ready and web-ready PDF files. The intern will learn about the mechanics of scholarly book publishing: how to make sound decisions about distribution of books including formats beyond standard print copies, standard practice in scholarly book structure and presentation, and the technical requirements and expert-level skills needed to prepare books for presentation in various formats. For the person interested in scholarly publishing as a career, this is a great opportunity to dive into the process and learn practical skills. Even if you plan to be an editor, this knowledge will provide a great grounding and insight into the scholarly publishing process.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in scholarly publishing, and those interested in book design and production are particularly welcome

The intern should have experience and be very comfortable with Adobe Creative suite, particularly Acrobat, Photoshop, and InDesign.