Virginia and its neighboring states are home to a considerable number of public history sites, many of which offer internships for undergraduate and graduate students in the summer and during the school year. Most of these internships are unpaid. An unpaid internship can be an excellent way to gain work experience and exposure to the public history field. This page compiles links to some of the many historic homes, museums, libraries, archives, and public history organizations that students interested in seeking an unpaid internship might consider. Check back often as we will continue to add opportunities as we discover them.

Please bear in mind that each organization listed below has its own internship application process and deadline. Read each website carefully for these details. For organizations which do not have formalized internship programs, please send a professionally-worded inquiry to the email address provided.

Some unpaid opportunities include:


Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia: Richmond, VA

Located in the historic Jackson Ward district of Richmond, the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia "seeks to become a permanent repository for visual, oral and written records and artifacts commemorating the lives and accomplishments of Blacks in Virginia" through its exhibitions, educational programs, and celebrations.

Students interested in internships may contact the museum manager, Mary Lauderdale, at



Elegba Folklore Society: Richmond, VA

Located in Richmond, The Elegba Folklore Society explores African and African American history, folklore, and art through exhibitions, folk life celebrations, and performances. The Society also leads guided heritage tours along the trail of enslaved Africans and of other noteworthy sites in Richmond. Interns will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of substantive, meaningful projects and to engage with the community.

Students interested in internships may contact the director, Janine Bell, at



Grey Towers National Historic Site: Milford, PA

Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, PA, ancestral home of conservationist and Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, has from 1 to 5 student intern positions to serve 10-12-week internships from May-October. Students will live on the estate of this 1886-mansion and be immersed in the history of forestry in America. They will have an opportunity to learn and improve skills in such areas as interpretation, public speaking, communication, research and related programs. Students of forestry, environmental, history, art, interpretive/recreation or museum studies programs are sought.

Interns will assist USDA Forest Service staff with interpretive and education programs and visitor services. Students will develop and deliver interpretive tours, assist with education and other public programs, provide visitor services and complete one research/interpretive project.

After this internship is completed, students will be:

  • Able to fully develop and deliver a thematic interpretive tour, including determining key messages and weaving htem into program delivery;
  • Able to work with a variety of different audiences;
  • Knowledgeable about the history of forestry in America and the role played by Gifford Pinchot, his family and Grey Towers;
  • Knowledgeable about Forest Service culture and history.

In addition, students will:

  • Hone their customer service skills;
  • Expand AV and computer skills;
  • Improve written and verbal communication skills;
  • Enhance research skills;
  • Learn professional work standards, ethics and expectations.

Interns will be required to complete one project chosen from a list provided by GT or approved in advance by the supervisor of Programs, Partnerships and Communication that will result in a tangible product, such as an interpretive brochure or wayside exhibit, powerpoint program, specialized tour, etc.

Stipends: A small subsistence allowance may be available. Grey Towers provides housing and uniforms. Students must provide own transportation.

To Apply: Please send a letter of interest to Lori McKean, Programs, Partnerships and Communication, Grey Towers National Historic Site, P.O. Box 188, Milford, PA 18337, or Letters should include a brief description of how this internship fits with your skills, background and career goals; what you can contribute to and hope to achieve from the experience; and how the Forest Service can help you further develop or learn new skills. Please attach (or send separately if submitting electronically) a copy of your transcript, resume and 2 letters of recommendation. Internships can span any period, May through October. Deadline is March 1st for summer months and June 1 for fall. Personal interviews are helpful but not required.

For more information, call 570-296-9630 or contact Lori McKean at 570-296-9672.



The Jewish Museum of Maryland: Baltimore, MD

Interning with the Jewish Museum of Maryland is a dynamic, interesting, educational, and fun experience. JMM offers Winter and Spring internships. There are internships available in archives, marketing, collections, development, exhibitions, oral history, and archaeology. For a full description of the available internships, please follow this link.

Students interested in internships may contact Jobi Zink at

Exhibition Research Intern
The Jewish Museum of Maryland seeks a qualified intern to assist in research for upcoming Great Expectations: Jews, Health, and Healing The Jewish Museum of Maryland seeks a qualified intern to assist in research for upcoming Great Expectations: Jews, Health, and Healing exhibition, projected to open at the JMM in spring 2014. Tasks include, but are not limited to: research in JMM archival holdings, oral history transcription, assisting in collection of materials from community members. Interested students should be working toward a degree in history, medical history, museum studies, or curatorial studies. Experience and/or interest in conducting oral histories a plus, but previous museum or gallery experience is not required. Internship dates are flexible through fall (2013), winter and spring (2014) semesters.

Please send a cover letter, dates of availability, resume, and list of three references to Karen Falk Curator, Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore MD 21202 or to Please include "Exhibition Intern" in your subject line. Applications reviewed as received.



Lynchburg Museum: Lynchburg, VA

The Lynchburg museum system, which includes the Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor, the elegant Federal-style home built by Dr. George Cabell in 1815, chronicles the events and individuals that shaped Central Virginia. The museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts from Lynchburg's history, including toys, furnishings, firearms, and art.

Students interested in internships may contact the Museum Educator, Rachel Deddens, at

Websites: and


Strathmore Summer Internships: Bethesda, MA

College and graduate students interested in an arts management career are encouraged to apply for a Spring Internship at Strathmore for the period of January through May 2014. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

This Spring we currently have openings for paid internships (approximately 20 hrs/week expected) in rentals/event planning, marketing and communications, and a combined education/development position. Volunteer internships (minimum of 12 hrs/week) will be available in the following departments: historic tours and visual arts. For either paid or volunteer internships, if the applicant is pursuing an internship for school credit, they must contact Strathmore in advance to ensure that all school requirements can be met.

To learn more about the specific duties and responsibilities, please follow this link.

Ideal applicants will possess at least two years of liberal arts, arts management or arts-related study at the college level, and have graduated no earlier than May 2011. Excellent written and verbal communications skills are essential. Applicants must demonstrate a sincere interest in the behind-the-scenes operation of an arts center. Access to a car and previous experience in customer service or arts administration are beneficial.

To apply please send complete applications to Miriam Teitel, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, N. Bethesda MD 20852 or (email submissions preferred). 

Complete Applications Must Include:
Application form (available on website)
Cover letter including the days and hours you are available and department(s) of interest. Preference will be given to candidates available for at least 16 hours/week.
Resume including current contact information
Names and contact information of two references (letters of recommendations are accepted but not required)
Transcript (unofficial is accepted)


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Last updated: January 2013