uvm campus

Does your historical society need help? Consider applying to get an intern through Backstory: Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences Internship Program, the University of Vermont History Department, the Center for Research on Vermont and the Vermont Historical Society have teamed up to provide a semester-long internship at a local Vermont historical society for a student in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Having an intern can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for both the organization and the intern. These students are on their way toward degrees in diverse fields related to history and/or collections management and will be able to fill a need within your historical society.

Read about how an intern can be beneficial to your society


Apply for an intern

You will recieve confirmation of your submission with more details and next steps within one week. Please contact Sophia.Trigg@uvm.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Preparing for an Intern:

Preparation is essential to a successful internship. Thinking about what you want and what you may have to offer are both important steps. Here are some other things to consider:

A well-defined project:

What can be done during the course of a 15 week semester? Students will work a minimum of 120 hours – which is 8-10 hours per week. This can be done all at once (one 8-hour day) or split between multiple days. Some students may want to work up to 240 hours over 15 weeks.

Some project examples from 2018:

  • Scanning and organizing a large collection of town photos and then bringing the photos to elderly people in the community for identification.
  • Creation of a newsletter (printed, at least 16 pages, bi-annual).
  • Rehousing of a collection.
  • Digitizing genealogical manuscripts or other ephemera.
  • PastPerfect (or other catalogue) data input of a defined collection.
  • Creation of an exhibit focusing on a specific element of historical life (ie. Music in 1925).
  • Cataloguing and shelving a book collection.
  • Creation of a tour through the museum including highlights of artifacts of note and then recording it for future tour guides.
  • Creation and development of a social media presence, email newsletter and updated website.
Consider Department of Labor standards:

                The U.S. Department of Labor has outlined six key criteria for determining trainee status:

  • Interns cannot displace regular employees
  • Interns are not guaranteed a job at the end of the internship (though you may decide to hire them at the conclusion of the experience)
  • Interns are not entitled to wages during the internship (although they are allowed to earn wages)
  • Interns must receive training from your organization, even if it somewhat impedes the work
  • Interns must get hands-on experience with equipment and processes used in your industry
  • Interns’ training must primarily benefit them, not the organization.

For additional information regarding these standards, see the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71

Creation of work plan:

At the beginning of the internship period, or even during the interview process if appropriate, students and their mentors should create a work plan that outlines the intended goals and outlines of the internship.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is the project to be completed?
  • What are the action steps toward completion?
  • What does the student want to learn?
  • How can that be incorporated into their work at the society?
  • What skills (technical or transferable) will the student gain through this internship?
  • What is the student’s work schedule?
  • Professional expectations?

The student may be required to submit this document to their professor, so make sure they have a copy!

Do you have questions?

Reach out to Internship Coordinator Sophia Trigg at Sophia.Trigg@uvm.edu or 802-656-1212. She works 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. 


Quick Help:

Contact the College of Arts & Sciences Internship Coordinator            Sophia.Trigg@uvm.edu 

Find us on Facebook!