Internships

Students interested in library, archival, or museum careers can benefit from a hands-on internship at the Swenson Center.

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About the Swenson Center

The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center is a national and international library and archives located on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

The Center’s collections contain thousands of historical books and archival records including personal papers, photographs, maps, sound recordings, sheet music, and rare materials. Collections are in both English and Swedish. 

We assist researchers of all kinds, including adacemic researchers, students, and genealogists. The collections allow for the study of a variety of topics including immigration to the United States (primarily from 1840-1930), Swedish-American culture, and Swedish-American relations today.

Internships can take place during the school year or over the summer. Open to Augustana College students or students from other institutions.

Internship Projects

Internship projects will vary based on our current needs and the intern's goals/skills. All interns will be introduced to archival practice and will work hands-on with historical materials. Projects could include research, describing historical materials, processing archival collections, assisting patrons, digitization or other special projects.

Archival Description

  • Goal: Reduce backlog of unprocessed archival holdings to make these materials available to researchers

  • Interns study best practices in archival processing and conduct background research to place materials in historical context. They then physically process (arrange and describe) the materials. The final step is writing and publishing a finding aid online

Preservation

  • Goal: Preserve our collections for future generations of researchers

  • Interns read relevant literature and are trained in preservation tasks for books, photographs, or sound recordings. Tasks may include flattening rolled photographs, digitizing media, and/or book repair (page reattachment, spine repair, or custom pamphlet and book enclosures)

Outreach & Research

  • Goal: Make our unique collections better known and more accessible to researchers

  • Interns research either a specific archival collection or a historical topic. They learn how to write about historical topics and how to conduct research in an archives. They will construct an argument or story situated in historical context and within the context of the Swenson Center’s mission. The result is either an article for our journal or an exhibit

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Compensation

Interns are part-time and paid at the Illinois minimum wage.​

Augustana College students may seek additional funding through CORE (including Augie Choice) for living expenses.

We can assist interns in finding affordable housing for the length of the internship and can lend a bicycle for transportation.

Academic Credit

Internships may be for academic credit (with a letter grade, 0-9 credits), pass/non-credit, or zero-credit. Internship types are Academic or Experiential. See the Augustana internship page or contact CORE for more information.

Non-Augustana College students should contact both the Swenson Center and their home institution about internship partnerships.

Desirable Skills

Swedish-language skills are not required for internships. Students with knowledge of (or who are studying) Swedish will be encouraged to work with Swedish-language materials.

  • Detail-oriented and organized

  • Ability to work independently

  • Excellent written communication skills

  • Good computer and technology skills

  • Willingness to ask questions and learn new skills

  • Interest in library/archives/museum work

  • Must be able to handle fragile materials with care and attention to detail

  • Experience or interest in Swedish language or culture a plus, but not required.

To Apply

Internship applications for Augustana College students will be posted to Handshake.

 

For internships for students from other institutions, please contact us.  

Past Interns

Summer 2021

Ainslie Lounsbury

Augustana College

Processing the C. Robert Larson collection of Swedish Music

Spring 2021

Maja Johnson

Augustana College

Re-processing the Carl Alfred Benson papers

Fall 2019

Victor Trollsås

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Re-processing Magdalena Persson Mårtensson letters and pre-processing collection on Swedes in Missouri

Spring 2019

Ramona Collins

Augustana College

Inventory of SWEA International, Inc. donation

Summer 2018

Shelby Jensen

Augustana College

Enhancing finding aid descriptions and "Swedish Arts in North America" exhibition

Fall 2017

Hugo Stiernstedt

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Processing the Elsa Rebekka Ahlwén Sundeen (1905-1986) archival collection

Fall 2013

Alexander Mahaffey

Augustana College

Digitizing American Union of Swedish Singers records (1896-2005)