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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.

Apply 2022 Opportunities

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 met with great success in recent years. 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 2022 term of summer internship appointments is from June 6 to August 5. Summer internships carry a stipend of $16/hour for a 35-hour week. Housing and subsidized weekday lunch in the Refectory ($6/day) are provided. For more details, please write to Internships@doaks.org.

COVID-19 Notice

Although Dumbarton Oaks hopes to offer on-site internships, due to the ongoing pandemic and the possibility of travel restrictions, the program may have to take a hybrid or virtual form. Successful applicants will be notified of any developments.

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 March 1, 2022. The application portal will open in January 2022.

Qualifications:

  • 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.

2022 Internship Opportunities

Seals Collection Internship

Dumbarton Oaks Museum welcomes applicants for an intern to work with our collections of Byzantine coins and seals. The intern will be gain experience across a wide range of tasks associated with the care and public display of a collection. They will help develop and take part in public and outreach events related to the special exhibition Lasting Impressions: People, Power, Piety. They will also get the opportunity to see how a collection is cared for, by helping with the collection rehousing project, and published, by contributing to our online catalogues.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in material culture, collections management, and public engagement with museum collections. 

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 educational programming with an emphasis on object-based experiential learning that engages close looking, group discussions, activities utilizing multiple modalities, and repeat visits. The Public Programming and Outreach intern will work closely with the Education Manager and Postgraduate Public Programming and Outreach Fellow to develop and implement active learning experiences based on Dumbarton Oaks’ museum collections and historic garden. The intern will assist with all aspects of our summer programming delivered in collaboration with the museum and special collections staff, and in partnership with Horizons Greater Washington. The intern will also assist with creating educational resources that enhance learning at home and in the classroom and connect educators, students, and families to our world-class collections. In addition, the intern may contribute educational content to Dumbarton Oaks’ social media platforms. 

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in arts, museum, nature, or garden education, and equitable access to the Arts and Humanities. 

Experiences in K–12 student teaching/tutoring, museum tours, or public programming and/or Spanish language skills are preferred. 

Garden of Knowledge–Landscapes of Learning Internship

Dumbarton Oaks seeks an intern to assist in the mounting of an exciting new exhibition as part of the Medieval Academy of America Meeting in February 2023. The intern will help select, prepare, and compose exhibitions topics, including texts and illustrations, demonstrating the ways in which medieval gardens were intricate and multifunctional creations, integral part of secular and religious institutions, reflecting power, refinement, and intellectual status of their creators.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in exhibition mounting, medieval studies, horticulture, plant humanities, and medieval institutions.

The Byzantine Institute of America Archives Internship

Dumbarton Oaks seeks an intern to help collect and prepare materials that will be a part of an upcoming 2023 exhibition in Istanbul on the restoration of the Byzantine Monuments in Istanbul. The intern will help select topics, document relevant information, and prepare texts and illustrations for the exhibition.

We welcome applicants with a strong interest in restoration studies, monumental art and architecture, the eastern Mediterranean, digital humanities, and cultural exhibitions.

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.

Tree Survey of the Dumbarton Oaks Historic Gardens Internship

We are seeking two interns with an interest in forestry, public gardening, and/or living collection management to work closely in updating our collection database of 1372 trees. Interns will learn basic tree survey techniques and tools, including a caliper tape, clinometer, hypsometer, GPS device. For each tree, interns will verify location, species, and update growth data. Data will then be updated in the Arborscope database, which interns will have the opportunity to explore. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to learn historic gardening and preservation technique by working alongside our talented gardening staff. Gardeners will teach interns 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: Background in plant sciences, forestry, or design preferred. Ability to work outdoors, on uneven ground, in typical summer weather of Washington, DC. 

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library Internship

Interns 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. 

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

Byzantine Gallery: Reinstallation Internship

The Museum Department seeks an intern to assist in the planned reinstallation of the Byzantine Galleries, with an aim of rethinking the permanent gallery’s current narratives, updating the installation’s design, and building connections to the Museum’s core strengths in Byzantine coins and seals and Pre-columbian art. In addition, the intern will help with preparations for a focused exhibition on Byzantine and Pre-columbian jewelry and personal adornment. We welcome candidates interested in combining traditional ways of thinking about the collection (the legacy of connoisseurship and the history of the decorative arts) with newer approaches responding to current-day concerns (global art history, diversity and inclusion in the galleries, among other key concepts). 

We particularly welcome applicants who are graduate students or advanced undergraduates with knowledge of Roman, Byzantine, medieval, or Islamic art, with reading ability in relevant source and research languages. 

 

Image: Page from an Armenian Manuscript of the Romance of Alexander, 1525. BZ.1948.22, Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks