Paid Interns for Community Archives in Southern California

Application due: Friday, May 22, 2020

Thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UCLA’s Community Archives Lab ( in the Department of Information Studies is able to fund 7 second-year Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) students to complete paid internships at local community archives in Southern California during the 2020-2021 academic year. We are currently seeking applications from community archives sites to participate in this internship program.

Archival studies scholars Andrew Flinn, Mary Stevens, and Elizabeth Shepherd define community as “any manner of people who come together and present themselves as such and a ‘community archive’ is the product of their attempts to document the history of their commonality.” We are particularly interested in applications from community archives sites that represent and serve communities marginalized by race, gender, class, sexuality, politics, and/or geographic location.

Organizations that have had previous interns funded through this program are eligible to apply again, but they are not given preference.

Applicant organizations should propose a discrete project that can be accomplished by an MLIS student intern in the allotted time. Projects may include (but are not limited to): processing collections; digitizing materials, developing digital infrastructure and processes; writing grant proposals and developing fundraising plans; developing and implementing preservation plans; providing reference services; conducting outreach; engaging communities to increase participation; and developing organizational capacity.

Given the current COVID crisis, applicant organizations must propose at least some work that may be done remotely, considering the possibility that the Fall 2020 quarter might be executed remotely at UCLA.

Successful applicant organizations will be matched to potential student interns by UCLA program staff in early June 2020. Interns are expected to work 12 hours a week for 30 weeks (from late September 2020 to early June 2021, excluding school breaks) and will be paid directly by UCLA. Additionally, each participating community archives site will be awarded $1,920 to pay for staff time training and supervising the students, as well as any materials that are required to carry out the proposed project.

All participating community archives sites must be nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations or have 501(c)(3) organizations serve as fiscal sponsors. Sites must also agree to participate in an evaluation process and research reporting on the project, including an audio recorded interview at the end of the academic year.

The application consists of a word document applicants will create answering the following questions:

  • Name of community archives site
  • Supervisor’s name and contact information
  • A brief (200 words maximum) description of the mission of the organization, its community, and collections
  • A brief (200 words maximum) description of the proposed project, including feasible goals.
  • A brief (200 words maximum) description of which skills an intern could have that could most benefit the organization.

This word document should be emailed to caswell at by Friday, May 22, 2020

Questions? Please email Michelle Caswell, Associate Professor, UCLA:
caswell at