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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 February 1.

2023 Opportunities Apply Now

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.

The summer internship program for Harvard students at Dumbarton Oaks has now been running successfully for more than a decade. Harvard undergraduate and graduate students 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 2023 term of summer internship appointments is from Monday, June 5 to Friday, August 4. 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 (1) your résumé, (2) a statement of interest describing any relevant experience and how this internship fits into your academic and professional development, and (3) two references who familiar with your scholarly work on the Embark application portal. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2023.


  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work as a team
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Active enrollment in Harvard University at the time of application and during the internship term

Dumbarton Oaks values disability as integral to our rich diversity. Dumbarton Oaks welcomes individuals with disabilities and implements exploration of possible reasonable accommodations for all scholars engaged in programs on our campus.

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage.

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

2023 Internship Opportunities

Arts Education and Outreach Internship

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 resource(s) 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 candidate’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 requested or required: 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.

Byzantine Africa Exhibition & Story Map Internship

ICFA_LIB_2023.jpgThe Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) seeks an intern to help research, curate, and design an ArcGIS Story Map that has the potential to be part of a wider exhibition focused on ‘Byzantine Africa’, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum and Cleveland Museum of Art. The intern will be trained in the standards and practices of cataloguing and archival processing to facilitate the use of ICFA materials in the Story Map, as well as training to become familiar with the ICFA’s collections to help curate the use of material in the Story Map. Furthermore, the intern will be trained in tools essential to the Digital Humanities, such as the ESRI software suite and Adobe Creative Cloud package. The intern will be given the space and support to think creatively about how to present material related to the project and will be encouraged to participate in the digital exhibition’s overall design. The intern will work closely with ICFA staff and the Byzantine Studies post-doctoral fellow to gain a firm understanding of the architectural and topographical terrain of the Mediterranean region, specifically the Red Sea area, and will familiarize themself with the actions involved in the documentation and preservation of cultural heritage.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in the digital humanities and the culture and history of the Mediterranean, Byzantium, or Egypt.

Special skills requested: Knowledge of French, German, Greek, or Arabic would be beneficial, although not required.

Byzantine Studies Oral History Internship

Dumbarton Oaks seeks an advanced undergraduate or graduate intern to help prepare for and conduct interviews with scholars in Byzantine Studies as part of Dumbarton Oaks’ ongoing Oral History Project. The Oral History Project at Dumbarton Oaks was begun in 2008 with the mission of interviewing and recording all people who are or have been significantly associated with Dumbarton Oaks and/or its founders, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss. The majority of the interviews were and are undertaken by summer interns from Harvard University. Although recorded in either audio or audio-video formats, the interviews are published as digital transcriptions. The selected candidate will work with the Director of Byzantine Studies and the Byzantine Studies Librarian. Spend your summer developing skills, learning about Byzantium, and exploring the “Little Eden” that is DO!

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in the humanities, esp. history, Byzantine studies and Classics; journalism and communications; social sciences.

Special skills requested or required: Effective communication and interpersonal skills; analytical skills and attention to detail.

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library Internship

DOML_PUBS_2023.jpgThe intern will help prepare volumes for publication in the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML). 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.

The intern 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, the intern 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 requested or required: 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.

Plant Humanities Internship

Plant Humanities_DIR_2023.jpgThis internship is for students who are interested in the environmental and public humanities and passionate about biodiversity and cultural history. The intern will contribute to the Plant Humanities Initiative at Dumbarton Oaks in collaboration with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest digital repository of biodiversity literature and archives. Over the course of the summer, the intern will receive structured training in digital tools and methodologies, access to Dumbarton Oaks and BHL special and digital collections, and may participate in seminars and lectures of the Plant Humanities Summer Program. 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 the ethical and cultural questions surrounding genetically modified crops.

The project is interdisciplinary, and we welcome students from plant science, the history of science and art, the environmental humanities, literature, and a host of 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 requested or required: 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.

Tree Inventory of Dumbarton Oaks Historic Gardens Internship

We are seeking an intern with an interest in forestry, public gardening, and/or living collection management to work closely in updating our collection database of 1372 trees. The intern will learn basic tree survey techniques and tools, including a caliper tape, clinometer, hypsometer, GPS device. For each tree, they will verify location, species, and update growth data. Data will then be updated in the Arborscope database, which they will have the opportunity to explore

Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to learn historic gardening and preservation technique by working alongside our talented gardening staff. Gardeners will teach them horticultural technique such as pruning, planting, propagation, integrated pest management, and other specialized practices employed at Dumbarton Oaks

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in: Urban Forestry, Forestry, Arboriculture, Public Gardening, Horticulture, Collections Management.

Special skills requested or required: Background in plant sciences, forestry, or design preferred. Ability to work outdoors, on uneven ground, during typical summer weather of Washington, DC.