Volunteer Opportunities in Special Collections and University Archives

Looking to gain experience working in a special collections library or archival repository? Special Collections and University Archives is host to volunteers and field study students looking to build up their resumes. They work closely with  library staff to make accessible some of the University’s most valuable research collections.

Current volunteer/field study opportunities include:

Archival Processing, Thomas Kahn papers

Thomas Kahn was Director of the AFL-CIO International Affairs Department. Responsibilities will include:

  • Develop processing plan for 130 linear feet of unprocessed records.
  • Assemble metadata by inventorying boxes.
  • Make recommendations regarding preservation needs and series descriptions.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Labor History LibGuide

LibGuides are online subject guides used by the University of Maryland Libraries to provide greater access to materials in our collections. Responsibilities may include:

  • Develop content for a new LibGuide on a topic such as: child labor, labor legislation, membership records, union proceedings, etc… by using existing print guides that are out of date. Content will need to be updated.
  • LibGuide should include information we have in the University of Maryland Archives’s labor collections on the chosen topic as well as resources at other labor archives and bibliographic resources.
  • There is a possibility to create more than one guide and/or write corresponding blog post and/or selecting materials and writing captions for mini-exhibit in Maryland Room.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Research Copyrights For Photos Used In Labor’s Heritage Journal

Journal was edited and printed by the George Meany Memorial Archive, 1989-2004. Responsibilities include:

  • Prepare journal for digitization by researching copyright information of photographs and terms of use. Student will review unprocessed boxes of administrative files as well as gain information from existing institutions’ websites.
  • Draft letters of inquiry for supervisor to review and send to obtain additional information as needed.
  • Student will gain insight into how publications are developed, initial research required, the importance of documenting rights for authors and photographic images used in publication.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Legacy Metadata Conversion

Collection information for the AFL-CIO Archive is located in multiple locations: retired database tables, printed finding aids, spreadsheets, and obsolete e-documents.  In the Winter of 2016, some of this metadata will be migrated into ArchiveSpace. However, it will be partially incomplete. Responsibilities include:

  • Convert legacy metadata/finding aids into EAD for ArchiveSpace.
  • Gain experience using ArchiveSpace by adding missing collection information to existing records while learning about legacy and obsolete metadata formats.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Special Collections Reference Experience

Gain experience with handling reference in a special collection library. Responsibilities include:

  • Serve on the Maryland Room Reference Desk.
  • Rotate in various subject areas within special collections handling outside reference queries.
  • Evaluate reference strategies and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • There is the possibility to assist the Researcher Experience Team, a Special Collections and University Archives staff team, with special projects.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Amber Kohl, Special Collections Services Coordinator

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