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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Operational Archives Branch Internship Opportunities

The Operational Archives Branch is an active participant in the Naval Historical Center's internship program. Under the guidance of a member of the Branch's professional staff, interns do hands-on work with materials drawn from the Branch's 20,000 cubic foot collection. This is an excellent opportunity for students to work directly with the "raw materials" of history and to apply the archival principles and methodology learned in the classroom. We are especially interested in college students and midshipmen and cadets from the various service academies, as well as graduate students in history, library and information science, and similar fields. However, archivists come to the profession from diverse backgrounds and students in other areas are encouraged to apply or to contact the Archives to discuss their interests. 

Interns at the Operational Archives generally work in one of two areas: processing or reference. For interns planning to work in the Archives longer than three weeks, it is possible to divide their time between processing and reference in order to get broader experience in the various aspects of archival work.


This section is responsible for establishing basic control over all new acquisitions (a process called accessioning). The staff arranges the unprocessed collections, re-houses them in archival containers, and conducts basic preservation when required. This section is also responsible for writing finding aids and maintaining the Naval Historical Center's implementation of Tower Software's Trim records management system. Typical projects in the areas of processing and description include: 

  • Arrange and describe collections of personal papers and official records
  • Create database descriptions for oral history interviews
  • Add electronic records to Trim and create appropriate metadata

Additionally, the Branch is currently involved in a multi-year, grant funded effort to catalog its holdings in OCLC's WorldCat. Library and Information Science students who have completed a cataloging/bibliographic control course are eligible to participate. This project calls for a vast amount of original cataloging and provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience in applying Anglo-American Cataloging Rules and Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts to a variety of published and unpublished sources.


The Reference Section is responsible for making the Archives' collections available for use. Members of this section respond to requests for information and assist researchers who visit the Archives. Intern projects in Reference include:

  • Conduct research projects for official requests
  • Assist in preparation of simple correspondence
  • Prepare answers to frequently asked questions for addition to the Naval Historical Center's website

Projects in other areas may also be available, depending on the intern's background and the amount of time they plan to spend in the Branch. 

For more information about interning at the Operational Archives, contact Kathy Lloyd for reference and website projects or Wade Wyckoff for projects concerning processing, description, and cataloging at 202-433-3224 or To apply, please complete the Internship Application, specifying that you want to work at the Operational Archives, and return it to the Naval Historical Center.

Published: Tue May 13 11:06:01 EDT 2014