The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s (NMAAHC) Office of the Director is responsible for guiding the museum’s operation and mission. In coordination with the NMAAHC staff and Council, the Office of the Director oversees the preservation, documentation, display, and dissemination of African American history and culture to a diverse and global audience.
The Council Relations and Museum Initiatives team in the Office of the Director is responsible for managing the museum’s Advisory Council and exploring and implementing Museum-wide initiatives. The museum’s Advisory Council is an august body comprised of highly accomplished business and civic leaders with national and international profiles. The Council is primarily responsible for ensuring the museum secures sustaining support and advises senior leadership on strategic and long-term direction of the museum.
The Council Operations and Museum Initiatives Intern will assist in preparing for the NMAAHC Founding Council Oral History Project, primary components of this opportunity include supporting the archiving of Council meeting records, preparing background research, and gaining deeper knowledge and experience in archival and oral history work. As a member of the team, the intern will provide high-level support, for our Council Archive Project. Most tasks are self-directed and designed for a highly motivated self-starter.
The mission of the NMAAHC Oral History Initiative is to document, preserve, and interpret African American stories through the art and practice of oral history. We develop oral history projects that support the research and exhibition goals of our curators. Additionally, we seek to make our collection accessible to scholars and to the public via programming, exhibitions, and online content.
The Founding Council Oral History project was started to collect the oral histories of individuals who joined the Council before the Museum opened its doors to the public in 2016. The project’s intention is to capture and preserve the stories of the leaders who were instrumental in the creation of the NMAAHC. This exemplary group of dynamic and influential corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders witnessed and shaped the museum’s journey. Their intimate perspective of the museum’s history is unique: from the early petitions for its creation to their support for the site selection process, to the groundbreaking fundraising work and historic grand opening celebrations.
The Council Operations and Museum Initiatives Intern can expect to develop greater understanding of culturally specific museum environments and how they operate, board and donor relations, and the planning and management of an oral history program. They will gain experience in designing and implementing archival policies, procedures, and workflow and using constituent relationship management (CRM) system. Applicants should have an interest in digital preservation and file management; interest in thinking through systems, processes, and workflows; be well organized and detail-oriented.
Duties shall include:
· Attending mandatory training
· Participate in one-on-one informational interviews with select Smithsonian staff and leadership
· Conduct background research on subjects related to interviews
· Collecting oral history documentation forms
· Writing field notes and interview summaries
· Assist with completion of catalog records and choose subject terms
· Reformat, review, and proofread transcripts
· Scanning and indexing Council meeting materials