IC Explorer Internship Description
Illinois State Museum
The Illinois State Museum promotes discovery, learning, and an appreciation of Illinois’ natural, cultural, and artistic heritage. The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities throughout the state.
Interns with ISM will work closely with Museum professionals on both team and individual projects. All majors are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be Illinois residents and returning to Illinois College for the fall 2013 semester.
Potential Positions for 2013 Interns
Five interns to be selected
Geology Collections Assistant
The Museum's fossil collections play important roles in research, education, and exhibits. This internship provides an opportunity for a student to assist curators in entering and verifying existing records in a computer database for vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant specimens. The intern will learn about specimen identification, georeferencing, collections organization, cataloging, conservation, and collections database management. The intern will work in the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield.
Zoology Collections Assistant
The Museum has extensive collections of Midwestern insects, freshwater bivalves, birds, and mammals. There are also smaller collections of reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The intern will assist with the curation of one or more of these collections, and will gain knowledge about Illinois fauna and museum curatorial methods including database management. The intern may also participate in the cataloging and database development for materials recently acquired by the museum, including a donation of mammal research specimens from a private collector and a large collection of mounted birds and mammals transferred to the Museum from another museum. The intern will work in the Illinois State Museum's Research and Collections Center in Springfield.
Herbarium Curatorial Assistant
The Museum’s herbarium includes over 110,000 pressed plants, primarily from Illinois. An intern will assist with curation of this important collection. Activities will include updating of identifications on herbarium sheet labels, mounting and labeling of new specimens, and updating of the electronic database for the collection. The intern will work in the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield.
Anthropology Collections Assistant
The Museum has one of the largest archaeological collections in the Midwest and is integrating a large collection from the Center for American Archeology. This internship provides an opportunity for a student to assist curators in identifying and cataloging specimens from the collections and field projects, rehousing collections, and updating electronic databases. The intern will learn about Illinois prehistory and early history, specimen cataloging, collections management, and database development. Opportunities are available at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield and Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown.
Oral History of Illinois Agriculture Project Assistant
The Museum’s Oral History of Illinois Agriculture has developed a website called the Audio-Video Barn that contains 139 searchable oral-history interviews with people involved in agriculture and rural life in Illinois. The website was launched in November of 2009, but help is needed to enrich the photo galleries, check the accuracy of audio and video descriptions, and improve the website’s search capabilities. The intern will assist with the oral-history project and will work in the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield.
Fine Arts Collections Assistant
The Museum has extensive collections of fine and decorative arts. The fine arts collections include approximately 4,000 prints, photographs, paintings, sculpture, posters, and folk art that document the art and history of Illinois. Interns will assist Museum art curators with the curation of these collections and will participate in exhibition planning and educational programming. The intern will work in the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.
Decorative Arts Collections Assistant
The Decorative Arts collections document Illinois history through its material culture. With this collection the Museum collects, preserves and interprets the lifeways, artistry, industry and innovation of the people of Illinois’ past as well as important historical trends that shaped Illinois. The collection includes objects made, used or collected in Illinois including decorative and household objects, personal goods, toys, armament, and recreational, agricultural, fishing, and industrial tools and equipment. The Decorative Arts intern will obtain hands-on collections management experience including object handling, cataloging, rehousing and database development. The intern will work at both the Illinois State Museum in downtown Springfield and at the Research and Collections Center.
Internships are available in museum education to assist with planning and delivery of public programming and to gain an understanding of informal education. At the ISM-Springfield this includes assisting with the planning and implementation of family events, the Bob Steffan Summer Film Fest, and Super Saturdays. The intern can also experience working with the public in the Museum’s new hands-on children’s gallery (Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum) and its natural history hall (Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments). Special projects can also be arranged depending on the intern’s goals and interests. Interns will work with the Museum’s education staff and assist with educational programs on the floor. Opportunities are also available at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, Illinois.
The Museum library has a significant book collection pertaining to Illinois and its natural history, anthropology, botany, zoology, geology, art, and museum science. The Museum’s rare book collection contains materials about ornithology, geology, and anthropology. The library’s monographs are accessible via the online catalog, and one task is to add the rare book collection to this catalog. Other projects include serials inventory and book stack rearrangement. The intern will work at the Illinois State Museum and the Research and Collections Center in Springfield.
The intern will learn about the production of museum books, magazines, and newsletters, including working with deadlines, collaborating with curators, editors, photographers, and printers, and applying desktop publishing technology to real-life projects. He or she will also learn about issues vital to museum publishing, such as scholarly vs. popular publications, negotiating contracts, and conveying an organization’s image and message through print communication. Editing with a style manual, advanced software techniques, and print communication principles can also be covered. Tasks may include layout, design, and editing assistance for various small print projects (such as event brochures). The intern will work at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.
Museum Photography and Videography
The intern will learn about photography and videography in a Museum setting. He or she will have opportunities to participate in archiving of slides and photographs, photographic documentation of Museum project and programs, and videotaping of special programs.
Museum Marketing and Public Relations
The intern will learn about marketing and public relations in a museum context through firsthand experiences at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. The intern will work with the Museum Administration on a variety of projects designed to strengthen the Museum's public image and promote its programs.
To apply for an IC Explorer Internship at the Illinois State Museum for the summer of 2013 email your resumé and cover letter in one attached PDF file to Kelly.Pool@ic.edu. In the cover letter, indicate which positions(s) most interest you.
Address your cover letter to the site contact:
Dr. Robert E. Warren
Curator of Anthropology
Illinois State Museum
1011 East Ash Street
Springfield, Illinois 62703-3535
The application deadline is February 1, 2013. On-campus interviews will be held in mid to late February and selections will be made before spring break.