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Title: Archaeological Conservation Internship

Department: Collections Management/ConservationConservation Intern

Supervisor: Textile Conservator

Hours: minimum of 24 hours per week and maximum of 30 hours per week.

Timeframe: Summer 2013 (June-August)

Status: Paid.

Location: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN

Project Summary: Intern will conduct documentation, cleaning and rehousing of a collection of historic archaeological artifacts, excavated from an 1880s townsite in northern Minnesota.  The collection includes substantial quantities of leather and textiles, which will be the focus of this project. Intern may need to be able to lift up to 40 pounds.

Ideal degrees: Undergraduate junior or senior in anthropology, archaeology, museum studies or history; Or a graduate student in conservation, museum studies, archaeology or history. 

Student Qualifications: Desirable applicants would be enrolled in a graduate-level program in conservation, museum studies, archaeology or history and have some familiarity with archaeological artifacts.  Desirable qualifications are:

    • Ability to take direction
    • Good manual dexterity/hand skills
    • Ability to self-direct
    • High organizational ability
    • Good writing skills
    • Understanding of how database systems work
    • Experience with digital photography
    • Ability to perform repetitive tasks for long periods of time
    • Ability to complete assigned tasks in a timely manner
    • Strong interest in objects conservation and/or museum collections care

Student Responsibilities: The intern will conduct condition surveys, write condition and documentation reports, do digital photography for documentation, clean artifacts and re-house them in appropriate storage holders.  Please note that this position will not include detailed analysis or extensive conservation of individual objects.  Intern will learn how to use the MHS Collections Management System to update object records and track conservation treatments.

A regular weekly schedule should be established and honored.  Changes to work hours may be allowable under unusual circumstances with advance notice to the intern’s supervisor.    Copies of relevant policies, examples of reports and hands-on training will be provided by the intern’s supervisor.

Other responsibilities include:

• Contribute to a positive work attitude within the department by working cooperatively with others and      conducting oneself as a team player.

• Comply with department and MHS policies and procedures as applicable.

• Keep supervisor informed of job-related problems and other information relative to assigned job duties.

• Perform other related duties as apparent or assigned.

Knowledge intern is expected to gain: The intent of this internship is to provide an opportunity for the intern to gain experience working with organic materials from an archaeological context.  The intern will learn standards for documenting object conditions and treatments; how to determine the most appropriate treatment for a given object, and how to prepare objects for long-term curation.

Additional Materials Required:

Please submit one of the following:

  • A 2 to 3 page excerpt from an essay, research paper or other original work that illustrates your experience working with or conserving historic archaeological objects;
  • A 2 paragraph goal statement describing what you intend to learn and accomplish in this position

For more information or to apply, please visit the Internship Program Application Process page. Applications for this position close on April 14, 2013.