Internship in Historical Research
“I have gained an immense amount of knowledge from my internship as a whole at the Slater Museum.”—Megan Sherrick, 2013 Intern, Slater Museum, Norwich
“From the collections I’ve worked with to the items I’ve processed, I have gained the hands-on experience that I was looking for in a museum setting.”—Danielle Furlani, 2013 Intern, Connecticut Historical Society
Internships in history provide an opportunity for advanced History majors to earn academic credit while gaining professional experience in a museum, historical site, library, or similar location. Three credits of HIS 490 may be applied toward your History major requirements.
Opportunities and Benefits
Internships provide a variety of non-paying, off-campus, on-the-job experiences, including participation in archaeological digs, preparation of museum exhibits, creation of educational programs for school classes, basic research, cataloging and archival work, service as tour guides and teachers, and other professional-level tasks associated with the work of museums and historic sites.
Internships provide practical training in a professional. They provide actual experience using the knowledge and skills you have learned as a history major, provide experiential learning opportunities, and may be useful in applying for jobs or graduate school. In lieu of a salary, students receive academic credit toward their history major.
Internships are generally approved for 3 credits, but it is possible to register for 1-15 credits, depending on the circumstances. Up to 3 credits of HIS 490 can be applied to the History or History and Social Science major. Any HIS 490 credits above 3 will become electives.
For each credit, expect to work 40 hours total during the semester. A normal 3-credit internship requires 8 hours of work per week (120 hours for the semester). The specific schedule is arranged with the sponsoring supervisor at the internship site. Internships may be completed partially or totally over an intersession or during the summer.
In order to register for HIS 490, you should: (1) be a junior or senior; (2) have passed HIS 200 and several other upper-division history courses; (3) have at last a 3.0 overall GPA; (4) have written an approved proposal in consultation with the site supervisor; (5) have written approval from the project director (faculty member). A special Permission to Register for Internships form also requires the signatures of the History Department Chair and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Requirements of the Course
You are responsible to your site supervisor at the sponsoring museum, historic site, or library for a work schedule, assigned projects, and all other matters relating to working conditions. The History Department expects interns to treat the internship like a professional job.
Internships generally involve a single project, which should be completed by the end of the semester or other established date, decided upon in advance. You must provide the project director at Eastern with a typed progress report at least every two weeks that details your time spent completing tasks and activities. You should also plan to meet with the project director at Eastern during the first month of the semester, and periodically after that (at a schedule agreed upon by you and the project director in advance), if needed.
At the end of the semester, you must submit a longer, comprehensive report that summarizes your accomplishments for the entire internship, along with a copy of any documented work you may have done as part of your duties in a portfolio. In most cases, the project director will visit you and your site supervisor sometime during the internship period.
After completing your hours and receiving your final report, in consultation with the sponsoring site supervisor, the project director will assign a grade for HIS 490.
How to Register
Professor Caitlin Carenen is the project director for the History Department’s Internship Program. You may contact her for more information (email@example.com). If you are interested in an internship at the Windham Textile and History Museum in Willimantic, contact Professor Anna Kirchmann (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is helpful if you already have a museum or site in mind. Below is a list of places Eastern history majors have interned in the past:
Old Sturbridge Village
US Coast Guard Academy Museum
Wethersfield Historical Society
Windham Historical and Textile Museum
Plainfield Historical Society
New London Maritime Museum
Mansfield Historical Society
Town of Lebanon
Willimantic Chamber of Commerce
Blue Slope Country Museum (Lebanon)
Lebanon Historical Society
Vernon Historical Society
Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Huntington House (Scotland)
New Haven Museum & Historical Society
Connecticut Historical Society
Milford Historical Society