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Internships in the Office of the Curator

Curatorial Internships

For over 30 years, interns in the Curator's Office have gained valuable curatorial experience while learning about museum practices and the work of the Supreme Court. The Curator's Office was created by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1973 to record and preserve the Court's history. Our mission is to promote a greater public understanding and appreciation of the Nation's highest court. To this end, we collect the institution's rich history, share it with a diverse audience through a variety of programs, and preserve it for future generations.

During their time in the Curator's Office, interns gain a substantial working knowledge of the role and functions of the Supreme Court, its history, and the architecture of the building. Additionally, all interns regularly conduct tours and Courtroom lectures and staff and the Visitor Desk to assist visitors. Each intern is also assigned to work with a staff member on curatorial projects, such as cataloguing photographs and objects, assisting with the management of visitor programs, caring for historic objects, organizing manuscript collections, and conducting research. * Some administrative support tasks, such as answering phones and working with our computerized reservation system, are required.

* Applicants should be aware that this is not a legal training internship. As such, it does not involve working with the legal functions of the Court or with cases currently before the Court. However, interns will receive training on the Court's operations, and, during the period from October to April, may occasionally observe oral arguments.

Terms and Hours Internships are available throughout the year. Applications will be accepted from undergraduate students who have completed at least four semesters of coursework, and from graduate students. Summer interns serve for a defined, 12-week appointment. During the fall and spring, start and end dates are flexible to accommodate each student's academic calendar. Candidates may also choose to apply for a 3-5 week winter internship.

During the summer and winter, internships are available for those who can commit to a full-time, 5-day schedule. Spring and fall interns have the option to work part-time, but must commit to at least three full days per week. Working hours for internships are Monday - Friday from 8:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

All internships are unpaid. Staff will assist interns by completing necessary paperwork to obtain academic credit for their internship.

Intern Positions & Qualifications Each intern will spend a substantial amount of time working with a staff member on projects in one of the following three areas: collections management/archives, photography, or visitor programs.

All candidates should be highly motivated individuals who share our passion for collecting knowledge and sharing it with the public. Interns work closely with our professional staff, but individual projects require a certain degree of self-motivation. Therefore, applicants must display a high level of maturity and superior judgment.

Collections Management/Archives Assist collections managers with cataloguing the Court's collection of decorative and graphic art objects. Organize and catalogue collections of papers and ephemera related to Justices. Produce high-quality digital copies of images and conduct research using resources at the Court and Library of Congress.

Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and computer skills are required. Previous experience with collections and/or knowledge of collections management principles and practice and experience with The Museum System (TMS) software is a plus.

Photography Assist in ongoing effort to make the Court's collection of photographs accessible to staff and researchers by helping to build a database of digital images. Work with the Court Photographer to scan and enter data on photographs documenting events at the Supreme Court and assist in responding to requests for use of images from the Court's collection.

Excellent organizational skills, data entry skills, and ability to communicate clearly in writing required. Familiarity with databases and photo imaging software, public speaking experience, and customer service experience desired.

Visitor Programs Assist with daily management of visitor programs including: responding to visitor inquiries, scheduling tours, and leading tours. Additional projects may include evaluating public programs, research and development of short presentations and materials for visitors on Court history, architecture, and collection objects.

Excellent research and writing skills, public speaking experience, and exceptional interpersonal skills required. Teaching and/or museum education/interpretation experience desirable.

Examples of Past Intern Projects
  • Drafting a visitors' self-guided tour brochure to highlight exhibits and architecture.
  • Organizing the family papers, photographs, and memorabilia of Justice Wiley B. Rutledge.
  • Digitizing 35mm film taken by the Court Photographers and incorporating scans into the Court's graphic arts collection.
  • Cataloguing the Court's silver collection (see photograph at right).
How to Apply
A complete application includes the following:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
    • Explain how your previous experience relates to the work of the Curator's Office, and address what interests you about curatorial work.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Recommendations should be from individuals familiar with your work ethic and abilities, such as professors, employers or athletic coaches.
    • Recommendations must be submitted online directly from the recommender.

    Applicants: To apply online, please click here.

    Recommenders: To submit a recommendation, please click here.


Application Deadlines

Summer Session: March 28th Winter 3-5 Week Session: October 15th
Fall Semester/Quarter: July 15th Spring Semester/Quarter: October 15th

Questions? Contact us

August 30, 2015 | Version 2014.1