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Assistant Curator
Ref No.: 21-00178
Location: Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/23/2022
Pay Rate : $ 15.00 /Hour
HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship)Greening Youth FoundationU.S. National Park Service HBCUI 2022

Position Title Assistant Curator
NPS Unit Name Mammoth Cave National Park 
Position Dates May 16,2021
Position Description Mammoth Cave has a long history of being a "show cave" and major tourist attraction beginning shortly after the War of 1812. During the War of 1812 the mining of saltpeter to produce gun powder was a major endeavor at Mammoth Cave and this endeavor was accomplished by the use of slave labor. This was the beginning of the African American interaction at and with Mammoth Cave. At the end of the War of 1812 the demand for salt peter from Mammoth Cave diminished and eventually disappeared. In the 1830s enslaved African-Americans were brought to the cave to guide tours. This was the begins of Mammoth Cave’s long history as a show cave. In 1842 Stephen Bishop an enslaved guide, drew a map of the cave including tens of mile of passage that he and the other guides had explored. This map was published in the first major tourist account of the cave. The guiding expertise of these early guides is documented in many traveler’s accounts and is attested by the growing popularity of the cave as a tourist destination. Due to the long history of the cave as a tourist attraction and then as a National Park Service unit there is a large and diverse museum collection comprised of artifacts, specimens and archival documents reflecting this history. There is a large backlog which must be processed and cataloged which was increased because of several large archaeological projects this backlog was increased. During the summer of 2021 archaeological excavations were undertaken at the site of the second hotel that was built in the 1920s and demolished in the 1970s. In addition , in 2020 and 2021 a 2 year rerouting of the current sewer line compliance project was conducted which impacted both the area of the original hotel, which operated throughout the 1800s, and the second historic hotel. These two projects uncovered numerous artifacts which need to be identified and cataloged into the Interior Collection Management System. In the event that these collections entries are completed the intern will process other backlog collections. The intern's primary duties will be to label, catalog and house the mostly historic artifacts which were recovered during these two projects.The intern will be trained on the proper techniques for labeling, handling and housing the artifacts and on the use of the cataloging system. In addition, the intern will as needed, assist visiting researchers and assist the curator with daily operations of the collections area. Examples of these activities include researching requests in the ICMS database, conducting an annual collections inventory, checking that the storage area’s temperature and humidity is being maintained at acceptable levels and reporting if necessary, any maintenance needs that might occur during their tenure in curatorial
Learning Goal  Project design, improved research skills, curation skills and techniques, use of Interior Collection Management System( the DOI collection cataloging database), interpersonal skills, and will have the opportunity to work with other staff members on various cultural and natural resource projects if they desire).
Qualifications Two year of post-secondary education. Preferred majors are History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Biology, Folk Studies/Folklore, Museum Studies and Archival Studies. The intern will need strong research and writing skills and computer competence.
Additional qualifications:
  • Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
  • Must be between 16 and 30years of age
  • Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
  • Must be able to pass a federal background check
  • Must be fully vaccinated 
Work Environment The official work space for the museum collection is located across a breezeway from the Science and Resource Management Offices. The curatorial office is in a climate controlled facility which has humidity and temperature controls set for the stabilization of the stored artifacts. The office work space is kept at comfortable levels but the storage areas are very chilly and a jacket or sweater will be needed by the intern when working in these areas. The weather in Kentucky in the summer is hot and humid so the intern should be prepared for this. The weather is similar to that of the Nashville, Tennessee area. The park is relatively isolated and a vehicle will be necessary for the intern in order to go to the grocery, movies or to visit a doctor if necessary.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is needed.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $15.00 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense-paid Leadership & Careers 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 and cover letters are required to apply. Please combine as one PDF document and upload file to the SERVE portal.
  • Use the link to apply to the selected position
  • First-time applicants must create a profile on JobDiva
  • Upload resume and cover letter 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