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.


Graduate or professional students, currently matriculated at Columbia University are eligible to apply; however, priority will be given to students enrolled for the full 2018-2019 academic year.

Prospective interns are advised that there are employment limitations for students holding multiple positions at Columbia University.  In general, students holding multiple appointments cannot work more than 20 hours per week inclusive of all appointments.  Individual departments may impose additional restrictions: please check with your department for information on its policy.

Terms & Duration

  • Six internships are available
  • June 1, 2018 - May 17, 2019, for up to 375 hours
  • The bulk of the work is completed during the summer
  • Interns are expected to work at least 20 hours per week during the summer, and during the academic year as their schedules permit
  • Interns will be paid $20.00 an hour, and can earn up to $7500 over the course of the internship