Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the American Sailor

Internships 

The National Museum of the American Sailor (NMAS) offers a variety of internships for students looking to gain professional museum experience. The internship program at NMAS allows interns with numerous interests, strengths, and goals to gain practical, hands-on experience in the museum department of their choice. The museum is currently accepting applications for the internships listed below. For opportunities in other departments, please contact nmas.fct@navy.mil.

About the National Museum of the American Sailor

As an official Department of the Navy Museum under the Naval History and Heritage Command, the National Museum of the American Sailor's mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the United States Navy's Enlisted Sailor for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States. NMAS offers a permanent exhibit showcasing the Enlisted Sailor through time, a rotating gallery that explores unique aspects of Navy history, a rich collection of over 2,000 artifacts, and a diverse menu of educational programs for visitors of all ages. Annually, NMAS welcomes 50,000 visitors.

The list below contains pertinent information about the Museum's internship program, current internships available, and the steps necessary to apply for an internship.

Eligibility: Registered students of colleges or universities are eligible for this program.

Academic Credit: The National Museum of the American Sailor does not award college credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning at the museum. Contact your academic advisor, school's registrar, or career planning office for more information on how to receive credit.

Location: All internships are conducted at the National Museum of the American Sailor. The National Museum of the American Sailor is located at the U.S. Navy’s historic Naval Station Great Lakes about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, about 10 minutes north of Lake Forest, Illinois. The museum is a ten-minute drive east of I-94 Exit 14 and is accessible from the Metra – Union Pacific North railroad line’s Great Lakes station with a 15-minute walk.

Duration: There is no set length for an internship. All interns, however, must complete a Department of Defense agreement for voluntary service of at least 120 hours (3 weeks) primarily on mutually agreeable weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Some Saturday hours may be available. Internships can last an academic quarter or semester, during which time a student may serve on either a full or part-time basis.

Stipends: The National Museum of the American Sailor provides no salaries or other stipends to interns.

Current Internships Available:

Archives Internship, Summer 2019

Project Goals: Clean, arrange, consolidate, and temporarily rehouse previously unprocessed visual and textual archival materials, to make them findable, matched with acquisition documents, and identified for accessioning.  

Personnel: One intern, preferably with prior archival handling experience.

Duties: Research the origin and ownership of high-interest un-accessioned archival materials, especially visual materials. Assist archivist in retrieving, assembling, and accessioning high-interest donated collections. Brush and sleeve previously un-sleeved panoramic photographs, then arrange according to categories, locations, and sequential or chronological order. Inventory and arrange un-accessioned visual materials.

Learning Objectives: The intern will learn the entire life cycle of archival materials. The intern will perform these archival processes: identifying provenance, imposing arrangement upon an assembled archival collection, and researching past documentation of ownership to enable accessioning. The intern also will learn about the federal laws and regulations that govern the management of donated personal papers and federal records. 

Duration of Project: Minimum 120 hours, with more time permitted, preferably 2 -3 week days weekly. 

Supervision: Archivist will provide training and manage the hands-on project performance. 

Knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this project:

·         Ability to climb stairs, sit or stand for prolonged periods, stand on a short mobile ladder, and lift and carry cartons weighing up to 50 pounds up to 76 inches above the floor.

·         Ability to type on a keyboard, entering both capital and lower-case letters.

·         Ability to work independently, but also as part of a team.

·         Careful, professional handling about the history of the U.S. Navy’s people.

·         Accuracy and good judgment in transcribing written data from varying types of source documents into a standardized format.

·         Ability to skim and summarize the major subjects of historical documents based upon unformatted and varying sources.

·         Comfort and familiarity with entering and saving data in a spreadsheet.

·         Balanced abilities to recognize and envision long-term “big picture” processes and goals while typing and describing individual items of data consistently and accurately. 

·         Ability to follow standardized vocabularies of descriptive terms, or to recognize the need for standardized terminology.

·         Interest in a career as an archivist is preferred.

Special Collections Internship, Summer 2019

Project Goal: The museum is currently working toward a complete inventory and rehousing of the museum’s three-dimensional collection. This internship will assist in the inventory process, starting with a large collection of Navy service plaques. If time allows, the intern will begin inventorying other sections of the museum’s diverse Navy collection.

Personnel: One intern, preferably with prior collection experience.

Duties: Inventory, photograph, transcribe and measure all plaques and other items in the permanent collection.

Duration of Project: Minimum of 120 hours.

Supervision: Collection Manager will provide all necessary training for the performance of these duties.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this project:

·         Ability to climb stairs, sit or stand for prolonged periods, and stand on a short mobile ladder, and lift and carry cartons weighing up to 50 pounds up to 76 inches above the floor.

·         Ability to type on a keyboard, entering both capital and lower-case letters.

·         Ability to work independently, but also as part of a team.

·         Careful, professional handling about the history of the U.S. Navy’s people.

·         Accuracy and good judgment in transcribing written data.

·         Comfort and familiarity with entering and saving data in a spreadsheet.

·         Interest in a career as a Collection Manager, Registrar or Collections Curator.

How to Apply for Museum Internships:

To apply for an internship, please submit the following information:

  • Internship Application Form
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
  • A resume outlining your educational, professional, and volunteer experiences
  • A one-page personal statement (use this essay to tell us how an internship at the National Museum of the American Sailor will advance your academic/career goals)
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A writing sample of not less than 1,000 words

Internship application packets for Summer 2019 are due no later than March 1, 2019.

Please submit completed application materials (via mail or electronically) to the following:


ATTN: Internship Coordinator
National Museum of the American Sailor
2531 Sheridan Road
Great Lakes, IL 60088


Email: nmas.fct@navy.mil


Questions: If you have any questions about the internship application process, please contact the National Museum of the American Sailor at 847-688-3154 or nmas.fct@navy.mil.

Published: Thu Dec 13 12:00:01 EST 2018