The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, through its Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), is excited to announce a new internship program slated to start this fall. The goal of the program is to provide emerging archivists with hands-on collections processing experience while providing needed arrangement and description work on the collections of Philadelphia-area small archival repositories—small, often volunteer-run history organizations without a full-time, professionally-trained archivist. Interns will spend half of a semester in a typical processing internship at a large, professionally-run “host institution.” The second half of the semester, the intern will continue under the supervision of the professional archivist from the host institution, but will process an archival collection from a small repository—working on-site at the small repository when possible.
The purpose of the HCI-PSAR project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is to make better known and more accessible the hidden archival collections held at the numerous small repositories throughout the five-county Philadelphia area. Since September of 2011, Project Surveyors have created basic collection-level finding aids for over 800 collections held at more than 75 small repositories, available on the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL)’s finding aids website [http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/pacscl/ancillary.html?id=collections/pacscl/repositories2]. More detailed finding aids, comprehensive arrangement, and improved housing are still necessary before many of these collections can be considered ready for research use.
HCI-PSAR is excited to have the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center on board for the pilot phase of the internship program this fall serving as the “host” institutions. The small repositories that are participating are the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol, Pa.
We are proud to offer this unique opportunity for interns to experience two very different types of archives work environments while gaining valuable training and applying their skills. HCI-PSAR hopes this internship helps facilitate the project’s goal of building partnerships, fostering communication, and increasing professionalization throughout the broader archival community. HCI-PSAR hopes that the pilot run this fall will be a success, and that this internship program will continue for many years to come!