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Internship Opportunities


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The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is celebrating 160 years of connecting people with nature and science. Originally founded so that scientists and nature aficionados alike could study and share the specimens they collected, we continue to build on our legacy of natural history education at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum through immersive exhibits, critical conservation and research initiatives, public engagement and education programming. Our mission is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions and public forums to grow our region’s urban connection to the world of nature and science.

We offer internships in the Fall, Winter, and Summer for college and university students. Check this page for current opportunities and application instructions. All opportunities are listed below. If there are no current positions listed, please check back often as we post openings as they become vacant.

Collection Intern
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Internship Department:  Biology – Collections

Supervisor:  Director of Collections


The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s natural history collections are a library of the natural world documenting Midwestern biodiversity from 1830 to the present. Glass plate negatives from the audiovisual collection taken between 1898 to 1941 illustrate ecosystems that have undergone significant ecological changes and can provide important contributions to current ecological research and discussions. Through a grant awarded from the Illinois State Historical Records grant program, the Museum will digitize glass plates documenting Illinois localities and provide online access to these historic images.


Under the supervision of the Director of Collections, the intern will expand descriptive and administrative metadata for a minimum of 500 glass plate negatives, using online and hard copy resources for subject matter such as species identification and geographic localities. They will scan these glass plates, append metadata to the digital copies, and prepare data for upload to the Explore website. They will assist in the formation of environmental tags for the Explore system, which will be applied to the digital copies and be made available for other CCC members.

Final Product(s):

By the end of the internship, the intern will have improved the descriptive and administrative metadata for at least 500 glass plate negatives in the Museum’s collection and made these available online through the Chicago Collections Consortium’s Explore portal and Internet Archive, expanding access to these images for scholarly and educational use.


The applicant should have some education relating to or experience working with museum collections and/or archives. They must be self-motivated, detail oriented, have strong organizational skills, and able to follow directions. They must be familiar with MS Excel. Familiarity with scanning and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom) is beneficial. Applicants must be able to lift 25 lbs, climb ladders, and work within 32-inch aisles.

Minimum GPA:  2.5

Desired Year in School:  Preference will be given to candidates with some university experience.

Desired Majors:  Preference will be given to those with a background in museum studies, archives, libraries, and/or the natural sciences.

Learning Potential:

This internship will build upon knowledge and skills relating to archival and scientific collections and digitization as a means of expanding accessibility to collections. The intern will be introduced to standards pertaining to audiovisual collections and gain hands-on experience working with historic photographic media and metadata.

Compensation:  $12.50 / hour.

Time Commitment:

This internship has a total of 400 hours, to be completed by the end of the grant, June 30, 2019. Work will be conducted at the Museum's off-site Ravenswood Collections Facility (4001 N Ravenswood Ave.). Office hours at the collections facility are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 9am-5pm. The intern’s schedule will be coordinated with Collections staff.

How to Apply:

Email resume and cover letter in PDF or Word format to Please include “Collections Internship” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until this internship is filled. No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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