Archives of American Gardens Internship

Available year-round

ArchivesThe Archives of American Gardens internship provides opportunities to perform various archival collections management tasks in the Archives of American Gardens, a growing photographic collection that documents American garden design and landscape history. This experience will help interns gain practical experience in the preparing archival collections for research access. Assignments focus on cataloging garden files and images by describing their content according to recognized data standards, image digitization, assisting with basic research and reference duties, and developing a range of outreach materials. Depending on which projects may be available to work on, interns may have an opportunity to organize and process photographic materials, develop finding aids, inventory, and/or perform basic preservation practices. Knowledge of and/or experience with archival practices preferred. Accuracy, attention to detail, and good writing skills are required.

Archives Intern

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens, an archival program managed by the Horticulture Collections Management & Education branch of Smithsonian Gardens, is seeking interns to assist with the following projects:

  • Digital asset management of born digital or newly digitized materials
  • Cataloging photographic materials including new submissions to the Garden Club of America Collection
  • Researching and writing on garden history and design topics to develop succinct reports for Garden Club of America field volunteers
  • Developing timely, educational content for Smithsonian Gardens social media platforms to promote holdings in the Archives
  • Assisting with special projects as necessary (i.e. reviewing transcribed materials in the Smithsonian's Transcription Center)
  • Digitizing and re-housing paper and photographic materials, as needed
  • Creation of Excel to EAD spreadsheets for import into Archivist Toolkit, linking digital objects and subject cataloging for digitized series or items in EAD finding aids.

Desired qualifications:

  • Graduate degree candidate in museum studies, public history, or information studies with courses in collections management for archives or museums
  • A very high attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent writing abilities and communication skills
  • Knowledge of DACS, MARC, and EAD standards
  • Previous experience working with photographic or visual materials preferred

Interest in:

  • Processing and describing photographic collections
  • Image management and structured data
  • Art history, history of photography, garden or landscape studies
  • Use of social media for outreach and education
  • Gaining hands-on experience using the following software programs: SirsiDynix Horizon system, ArchivesSpace, Adobe Bridge/Photoshop, Open Text/Digital Asset Management system



Winter/Spring Internships: December 1

Summer Internships: February 1

Fall Internships: July 1


Up to $4,000 full time for a 10-week internship. Stipend available through The Garden Club of America:


Requirements for applying to the Smithsonian Garden intern program:

  • Submit an on-line application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcript(s)
  • Essay describing background, interest in field, career goals and chosen project


Completed application, essay, academic records, and two letters of recommendation should be submitted on-line through at Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System.  


If you have questions regarding the internship application process, please contact the Intern Coordinator at (202) 633-5840 or e-mail at