Graduate Student Internship Program in Primary Sources


The Columbia University Libraries’ Graduate Student Internship Program in Primary Sources is designed to enrich graduate studies and professional training in primary sources through an introduction to archival processing work, supplemented with an orientation program, networking opportunities, discussions and tours.

A three-year pilot project of this program (2007-2010) was funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Core Program

Work in the archives includes:

  • Training in archival processing practices under the supervision of curators and archivists.
  • Arranging, describing, and cataloguing collections in one’s area of research and interest.
  • Creating finding aids, once a collection has been processed, for online publication.
  • Learning to uncover primary source collections relevant to one’s research and to better understand the nature, origin and uses of primary sources.


Rounding out the experience:

  • Behind-the-scenes tours of participating libraries and archives.
  • Discussions with library staff on topics of oral history, digital archives, issues of conservation and preservation, new ways to research, and introductions to collections.
  • Opportunities to meet your fellow interns and network with other interns working elsewhere in the Columbia University Libraries.
  • Opportunities for discussions with the University Librarian and Associate University Librarians to ask questions regarding the Libraries’ organization, job hunting, career enhancement, and other topics of librarianship.


Applicants must be currently matriculated graduate or professional students at Columbia University who are continuing their studies for credit at Columbia University in the Fall Semester.

Prospective interns are advised that there are employment limitations for students holding multiple positions at Columbia University. Due to these limitations, students who also hold a teaching appointment or other student officer appointments over the summer may not be eligible for this program. Your department can advise on such limitations.

Terms & Duration

  • Seven internships are available
  • The internship period is June 3 - August 30, 2024, for up to 275 hours
  • All work is completed in-person and onsite at one of the participating libraries
  • Work hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Interns are expected to work 20-25 hours per week.
  • The internship has some flexibility in scheduling; however, interns are expected to make a commitment to work at least ten weeks during the internship period.
  • Interns will be paid $25.00 per hour, and can earn up to $6875 over the course of the internship