The Office of the City Historian routinely accepts college interns from both the undergraduate and graduate levels to assist with day-to-day tasks and special projects within the office.
Internships are unpaid, although students may receive academic credit from their educational institutions. Interns will work under the direction of the City Historian, Deputy City Historian, and/or other professional staff. They will receive an orientation to the office and training on the skills necessary to complete the tasks to which they are assigned. After the orientation and training period, students will be expected to work relatively independently on their assigned tasks, with guidance provided by office staff as needed. Students will be expected to adhere to an assigned work schedule and maintain a consistent attendance record. Students’ respective colleges/departments may have additional requirements.
The Office of the City Historian is currently seeking interns to work on the following projects:
- Catalog and accession a collection of artifacts from Mayor Thomas P. Ryan’s tenure as Rochester Mayor. Research Ryan’s role in the city’s history and place his service in the broader context of NYS and U.S. history and government modernization, particularly the trend away from the city management form of government to the strong mayor model. The end product for this project will be a 5,000-6,000-word article for the Rochester History journal and/or an exhibit for the entrance hall in the City’s Ryan Community Center.
- Catalog, accession, organize, and physically relocate the Harold Lara collection of glass plate and safety film photographic negatives from the early to mid-20th century. Research the photographer. End products for this project will be a detailed finding aid and/or a 5,000-6,000-word article for the Rochester History journal on the history of the photographer and the collection.
- Catalog the contents of a trunk that was recently discovered after being in storage since its owner’s death in 1958. Research the contents and the life history of the trunk’s owner and assess the value of a material culture collection such as this. The end product for this project will be a 5,000-6,000-word article for the Rochester History journal and/or an exhibit on the history of the trunk’s owner and its contents.
- Identify historic photographs and research and write corresponding 300-500 word articles and 2-minute audio narrations on historic buildings and sites for the Democrat & Chronicle’s weekly “Retrofitting Rochester” column. Candidates for this project must be willing and able to meet deadlines. The student will be credited in the D&C’s print and online editions for their work, and their photograph will appear alongside the online edition.
- Listen to, catalog, and tag pre-existing audio oral history interviews according to theme and subject matter as part of the Rochester-Monroe County Vietnam Veteran’s Oral History Project. The end product for this project could be a mini online exhibit focused on a particular theme (of the student’s choosing) illuminated by the oral history interviews.
- Listen to, catalog, and tag pre-existing audio oral history interviews according to theme and subject matter as part of the Civil Rights Oral History Access and Preservation Project. The end product for this project could be a mini online exhibit focused on a particular theme (of the student’s choosing) illuminated by the oral history interviews.
- Serve as an editorial assistant for the biannual Rochester History journal. Duties will include soliciting and editing articles, working with authors to ensure they meet deadlines for revisions and to gather illustrations and secure permissions to use them, and prepare text and images for submission to graphic designers. Plan and develop post-production events and promotional materials. The end product will be at least one complete issue of Rochester History in which the student will be credited in print as an editorial assistant.
- Rehousing and creating a finding aid for a collection of manuscript/archival material consisting of handwritten notes former City Historian Blake McKelvey’s made and used in preparation of his multivolume history of Rochester. This involves transferring contents to acid-free file folders and boxes and assigning subject terms for each box. The final product will be a detailed finding aid and catalog record.
Students with other interests are encourage to contact the City Historian to discuss them, as we often can tailor an experience to suit individual students’ needs and desires.
Christine L. Ridarsky, City Historian
115 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14604-1896
Applications can be emailed or mailed and should include:
- A cover letter describing your interests and skills and indicating the projects that most interest you and why. Also include details on the time period for which you are requesting the internship and the name and contact information of the faculty member who will be overseeing your internship experience (if it will be for credit).
- A resume