Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship

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Applications will be accepted through March 4, 2019.

The Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship Program at the University of Chicago Library offers an annual six-week internship in the areas of library preservation, conservation, digitization and digital library collections. The Program has been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Albert Somit, AB’41, PhD’47, University of Chicago alumnus and past president of Southern Illinois University. Established to honor his parents’ legacy, the internships support the needs of the Library and its collections and prepare students for the important work of preserving and providing long-term access to library resources and other scholarly works in all formats for research and teaching.

The internship is intended to give current graduate students or recent graduates of a preservation, conservation, archives or library and information program, an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge in a research library setting. Students will gain experience in a comprehensive preservation program for the care of collections and undertake and complete a project based on the needs of the Library. Technical Services, the Digital Library Development Center, and the Special Collections Research Center are all partners in the Library’s preservation initiatives and may also be the focus of internship projects. Interns will work in the Library’s Preservation Department under the guidance of the Preservation Librarian and other library professionals dependent on the selected project.

The posting for each annual internship is made in mid to late January, with applications due in early March. The Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship provides a $4,000 stipend for the six-week period.

During the Internship, interns will learn about the functions, policies and practices in Preservation and other key departments. In addition to gaining an understanding of library operations, interns will undertake a major project which may include such projects as:

  • Designing, testing, and documenting a new workflow for a specific library operation
  • Identifying and recommending ‘best practices’ and procedures for a new library activity or service
  • Conducting a condition assessment with recommendations for a print, image or archival collection
  • Inventorying and assessing media collections
  • Analyzing a collection and developing a digitization project proposal
  • Analyzing needs and recommending metadata requirements and enhancements for a digital collection
  • Developing requirements and specifications for contracted vendor services
  • Developing preservation education, outreach or training resources for users or staff

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Applicants must be a current graduate student or recent graduate of a preservation, conservation, archives or library information program, or a student with equivalent experience and training
  • Applicants must commit to six consecutive weeks of full-time employment between June 1st – August 31st
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States
  • Interns will be required to submit a final project report at the end of the Internship

To apply for the Somit Preservation Internship please submit the following items:

  • Cover letter with statement of interest
  • Current resume
  • Description of graduate program including list of completed courses and/or relevant experience
  • Contact information for two professional references

Submit electronic applications to:

For additional information visit the Somit Preservation Internship website or contact Sherry Byrne, Preservation Librarian at: