HBCU Library Alliance HBCU Library Alliance
2019 Student Intern Stephon Boykin, Claflin University (SC), prepares Collections Emergency Kit
at the Library of Congress (DC).
Image courtesy of Library of Congress

HBCU Library Alliance Summer 2020 Library Conservation/Preservation Internship Program

The HBCU Library Alliance Conservation/Preservation Internship Program adds value and impacts the undergraduate educational experience! Let’s continue this work that aims to diversify the library profession and provide HBCU undergraduate interns with key library preservation skills.

The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, in partnership with the HBCU Library Alliance, has received a third round of funding to coordinate eight fully-funded, eight-week summer internships in library and archives preservation in 2020 at eight nationally recognized library preservation/conservation laboratories.

Interns will receive a cost-of-living stipend, funds for travel, and assistance arranging travel and housing accommodations. Summer internships will take place between June 1 and August 15, 2020, with exact dates to be decided upon by the intern and their host site.

HBCU Library Alliance members in good standing are eligible to participate in this program. Your assistance is needed to widely promote the program and identify strong undergraduate applicants for this dynamic opportunity. Twenty-six students applied for the 2019 program, let’s encourage strong applications to continue this internship program for years to come.

Thanks to Board member Debbie Hess Norris, University of Delaware, for her vision, insight and for securing this funding. Thanks are due the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the University of Delaware College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware, and the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (DE) for funding this internship project. What an exciting opportunity for HBCU students!!!

About the Internship

HBCU undergraduate students interested in the humanities, arts, and sciences will have the opportunity to learn and practice hands-on library preservation skills during this full-time, eight-week internship under the mentorship of professional conservators and library staff at a host site. Successful internship candidates will demonstrate a strong interest in libraries and archives and an attention to detail, as well as interest and academic success in history, the arts, and/or the sciences.

Interns will work on a range of possible projects, including:

Interns will then use their new expertise to implement a library preservation project designed in collaboration with their mentor and their home institution’s library staff, building on the success of their summer experiences with an opportunity to perform meaningful work preserving significant HBCU library collections at their institution.

Participating Host Sites

The eight (8) participating host sites are:

  1. Duke University Libraries, Durham, NC
    Duke University Libraries (DUL) is committed to diversity in its patron communities, services, collections, staff and spaces. One of its guiding principles is to build, maintain, and provide access to an international and multilingual collection, representing the broadest possible spectrum of cultures, ideas, and information. Significant collections include the University Archives, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, the Human Rights Archives, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History & Culture. The core mission of the Conservation Services Department is to ensure that library materials can be used by patrons both now and in the future.

  2. The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, TX
    The Ransom Center is an internationally renowned humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin. Its extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of writers and artists, deepening our understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. The Center’s Preservation and Conservation Division provides a full range of preventive and conservation treatment options for the long-term care of its collections.

  3. Harvard University (MA)
    The Harvard Library holds the largest academic library collection in the world. The Harvard Library Preservation Program comprises state-of-the-art facilities and staff committed to ensuring that library materials remain secure and usable by employing a variety of strategies for conserving materials, digitizing physical collections, preserving library content in digital formats, and providing robust education and outreach programs.

  4. Library of Congress (DC)
    The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Library preserves and provides access to a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage intellectual and creative endeavors.

  5. University of Kansas Libraries
    Kansas University libraries have more than 5.6 million print items in seven campus locations, which see more than 1.2 million visits every year. In 2016-17, patrons checked out nearly 130,000 items and accessed more than 3 million articles online. Through their resources and expertise, Kansas University Libraries work to advance discovery, innovation and learning for Kansas University, the state and a rapidly expanding community of world scholars.

  6. Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, Wilmington, DE
    Winterthur Library collections promote the interdisciplinary study of American material culture, including art, architecture, decorative arts, and everyday life, dating from colonial times into the twentieth century. Its resources include printed books and serials; trade and auction catalogs; manuscripts, diaries, letter books, and family papers of artists, craftspeople, and merchants; design and architectural drawings; historic photographs; printed ephemera; a large collections of modern photographs; and institutional archives. Winterthur’s Library Conservation Lab is located within a larger Conservation Department with additional specialties in paintings, textiles, objects, furniture, works of art on paper, and scientific research and analytics.

  7. Yale University Library, New Haven, CT
    The Gates Conservation Laboratory at the Yale University Library opened in the fall of 2015 and is home to the conservation and exhibitions services program for the Yale Library’s collection of 14 million books, manuscripts, archival documents, photographs and artifacts, held in 16 libraries or collections on campus. The lab is staffed by a team of four conservators, four technicians, and one exhibits program manager, who provide expertise in book, parchment, paper and photograph conservation for both circulating materials and rare, special collections. The collections of the Library, especially those of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, document much of the human record, from Egyptian papyri to early Civil War photographs, and archives of writers, artists, and musicians of the Harlem Renaissance to those of student organizations on the Yale campus.


To Apply

Undergraduate students must return the following required materials as a single PDF to me at sphoenix@hbculibraries.org no later than Saturday, February 22, 2020.

Undergraduate students will be selected by a panel which includes HBCU Library Alliance Board Chair Monika Rhue, Johnson C. Smith University (NC); Board Treasurer Tina Rollins, Hampton University (VA), Project PI Dr. Melissa Tedone, Associate Conservator at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (DE); an intern supervisor from one of the host sites; and me.

Contact me immediately at sphoenix@hbculibraries.org with your questions or if you need additional information.

I look forward to receiving student applications!

HBCU Library Alliance Executive Director
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
111 James P. Brawley Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30314
404-978-2118 (office)
404-702-5854 (cell)