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Oral Historian Intern
Ref No.: 19-00123
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/25/2020
Pay Rate : $ 10.00 /Hour
The need for preserving all of our nation's history has never been greater, and we're counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) is a 10-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation's history and culture. Participants gain real-world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.

Position Title Oral Historian Intern
NPS Unit Name WASO Park History Program - Washington, DC
Position Dates May 25th – July 31st
Position Description The intern chosen for this position will help the Park History Program develop a new oral history project entitled "Telling our Own Untold Stories: Civil Rights in the National Park Service." While the current Civil Rights Initiative is identifying, researching, and sharing civil rights stories connected with National Park Service sites, the HBCU Intern will conduct 6-8 in-depth oral history interviews with Civil Rights pioneers within the National Park Service--individuals who broke employment barriers of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in the past 50 years and who have worked for change within the agency. In addition to conducting interviews, an intern who has basic audio production skills and could produce short podcasts based on interview excerpts would be ideal.
"Telling Our Own Untold Stories: Civil Rights in the National Park Service" is part of the Park History Program's ongoing effort to use oral history research to document the history of the agency. In the past decade, the program has conducted interviews with former directors and deputy directors, program managers and staff, and rangers who served across the National Park System. The intern who develops this project will contribute to an important effort to make documentation of the National Park Service's history more diverse, relevant, and inclusive.
Washington, DC, area parks, and programs offer a rich pool of potential narrators, and the Park History Program's oral history program manager, Lu Ann Jones, will provide close mentoring and guidance as the intern develops this oral history project. The Program will help the intern make appropriate contacts and connections, learn about the history of the National Park Service since the 1960s, and draw up a list of possible questions to guide the oral history interviews. The intern will also consult with appropriate personnel who might suggest narrators and ideas for how historical documentation of civil rights within the NPS can inform current efforts to diversify its workforce. The Program will provide appropriate audio recording equipment.
At the end of the internship, the intern will have completed 6-8 oral history interviews of approximately 60 minutes in length with NPS personnel who worked in the greater Washington, DC, area, who broke barriers of gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality since the 1960s. The intern will index/summarize the interview contents and maintain records for each interview (signed legal release forms, correspondence, field notes, and so on). If time and skills permit, the intern will complete 1-2 short podcasts based on the interviews. The intern will also suggest next steps for "Telling Our Own Untold Stories."
Learning Goals This experience will familiarize the intern with all aspects of effective oral history projects: project design, background research, interviewing, and sharing the interview research results. The intern will build skills in project administration and management, interpersonal relations, and empathetic listening. The intern will also learn about the mission of the National Park Service and the bureau's complex history.
Qualifications Academic course work in U. S. history, anthropology, American Studies, or interdisciplinary programs in race, ethnicity, and gender can prepare interns for our project. Some  experience in oral history interviewing is essential for success. The intern must be comfortable contacting, meeting, and interviewing new people.
Additional qualifications:
•          Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
•          Must be between 16 and 30 years of age
•          Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
•          Must be able to pass a federal background check
 Work Environment The intern will spend time in the office, and may also be traveling within the Washington metro area to conduct oral history interviews. The Park History Program will probably host a National Council for Preservation Education intern during the summer of 2020, and program interns are encouraged to socialize with and learn from interns in other cultural resources programs.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is not required for this site. A valid state driver's license is required to operate a government vehicle while conducting official government business.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $10 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • A housing assistance stipend is available for non-local interns.
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense-paid Career & Leadership Workshop
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions
Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at
  • Use the link to apply to the selected position
  • First-time applicants must create a profile
  • Upload resume as a PDF file
    • The file name should include your first and last name or initials
    • Examples: FI. Lastname-resume.pdf, Firstname Lastname – resume.pdf, or Firstname L.pdf
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