The Dominican Archives Internship Program provides practical archival work experience to high school, undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in the archival profession, or using archival materials for research. The program is designed to provide interns with hands-on knowledge regarding the survey, accession, processing, arrangement, description, automation, preservation, and use of archival materials.
The program is administered by Chief Archivist Idilio Gracia Peña. It provides interns with firsthand knowledge of the nature of archival work: working conditions as well as training and educational requirements and employment opportunities in the archival profession. It also includes information relating to appropriate workplace conduct, work habits, time management, job performance, and job-readiness skills; how to use primary source materials; how to preserve family records; and information related to the employment in the archival profession.
The Dominican Archives Internship Program consists of three specific components: the High School Internship Program, the Undergraduate Internship program and the Graduate Internship Program.
High School Internship Program
The High School Internship Program accepts students from existing citywide youth employment programs such as the Summer Youth Employment Program administered by community organizations during the summer months. The program is supplemented by a mentoring program which provides participants information about college readiness such as college admission requirements, entrance exams, college essays, scholarship opportunities and financial aid available, as well as guidance from the archives professional staff. High School student interns are required to write and submit a short essay describing their work and learning experiences related to the internship.
During the last six years, the Dominican Archives has been working with community-based organizations to implement the High School Internship Program. Under an agreement between the Dominican Studies Institute and these community-based organizations, students employed under the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program are assigned to the Dominican Archives to work during the summer months.
Under the direct supervision of an Assistant Archivist, students perform the same archival tasks normally performed by archival staff and college work study students. Although the program has not yet been institutionalized, it has been quite successful. High School students have acquired invaluable work experience that is not easily available at other work places. As one of the first interns explained it: “I learned about the archives and what the job entails… The experience taught me a lot not only about Dominican Studies but also about the field and how things work in real life.”
Undergraduate Internship Program
The Undergraduate Internship Program recruits college students. This program operates on a year-round basis. At present, candidates for the internship program are accepted from The City College of New York work study program. Archives interns are encouraged to use primary source materials from the Dominican Archives or other local archival institutions for their college papers or assignments.
Graduate Internship Program
The Graduate Internship Program recruits candidates from local and regional archives and library schools as well as archival graduate programs. Graduate interns provide the academic perspective and recent developments in the archival profession to lower-level interns and archival staff. In addition, they have the opportunity to combine their academic education with practical archival experience provided by the Chief Archivist, an archives and records manager professional with over fifty years of experience in the field. Graduate interns may receive college credits for their internship.