Mary & Samuel Somit Preservation Internship

Approximate Date of Posting: January 23, 2017

Position: Preservation Intern

Location: Chicago,  Illinois

Company/Organization University of Chicago

Schedule/Hours: Full-time/6 weeks

Time Frame:  Between June 1 & August 30

Compensation: $4000.00 stipend

Source: Simmons Jobline


The University of Chicago Library is accepting applications for the 2017 Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship. This Internship, established in 2006, has been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Albert Somit (AB ’41, PhD ’47), University of Chicago alumnus and past president of Southern Illinois University. Dr. Somit has established the Internship to honor his parents’ legacy, serve the needs of the Library’s collection, and prepare individuals for important work to preserve and protect library materials and other scholarly works so that they are available for research and teaching.

Internship, Summer 2017

The six-week Internship is intended to provide firsthand experience and a broader understanding of the care and treatment of library and archives materials in a large research library. The intern will work with the Preservation Librarian and other Department managers to learn about the operations, issues, and challenges of a comprehensive preservation program. Under the guidance of the Preservation Librarian, the intern will undertake a project and prepare a final report. During the internship, the intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with other library staff and give a presentation about the project and its findings.

Project Description

The Intern will focus on an assessment of the access and preservation needs of the collection of materials from the John Crerar Library. This rich historical collection includes materials in the history of science and technology, especially late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century materials strong in the areas of engineering, manufacturing and applied arts. The collection includes many unique and rarely held monographs, serials and unbound pamphlet collections. Major preservation issues for this collection include a high percentage of fragile brittle books, unbound items, and an array of older and deteriorating enclosures. Due to the history and age of this collection, many processing and cataloging needs have not been met.

The project goal will be to design and carry out a needs assessment that will provide quantitative data to inform the development of a strategic plan for this collection and identify high priority cataloging, stabilization and treatment projects to ensure this collection is discoverable and preserved for long-term access. The intern will also have the opportunity to collaborate with Library’s subject specialists and staff in Technical Services and the Special Collections Research Center.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Internship is open to recent graduates and currently enrolled students of a recognized library school of information or related program; or students with equivalent experience and training in preservation and/or metadata. Whether through coursework or previous practical application, the Somit intern must be familiar with preservation principles, metadata creation, and statistical methods of surveying. The applicant should possess the ability to work collaboratively and independently to accomplish project goals. Familiarity with Windows, cataloging practices, spreadsheet software, and databases is highly desirable.

The 2017 Internship provides a $4,000 stipend.

To apply for the Internship, individuals should electronically submit a letter of application, a resume, a list of preservation, cataloging and related courses or completed training, and contact information (name and email address) for three professional references. To be considered, individuals must currently be authorized to work permanently in the US, and be able to commit to six consecutive weeks of full-time work between approximately June 1 st and August 30 th .

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

The deadline for applications is February 27, 2017.
Submit electronic applications to:

For more information, please see our Somit Preservation Internship website ( or contact:

Sherry Byrne, Preservation Librarian
University of Chicago Library



Deadline: February 27, 2017.


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