Internship (unpaid) or Practicum: Archives and Digital Collections

Come to the CBMR and work with collections! Includes sound, scores, video, print materials, and more...

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Practicum OR Internship (unpaid) in Archives and Digital Libraries at the Center for Black Music Research

About this Opportunity

The Center for Black Music Research seeks an interested student to work with the Archivist and Digital Librarian as a practicum or internship. You will help process collections (print-based, photographs, musical scores, audio-visual materials) and make them available for use. Work includes creating social media/blog entries for selected materials or collections. May undertake digital library projects around access and workflows, user-centered design and metrics, and digitization initiatives.

Available projects might include: 

  • Processing a small collection or a portion of a larger collection according to archival principles and best practices; create a processing plan, inventory, re-house materials and appraise for preservation and outreach initiatives, enter information in archival content management system
  • Write up descriptive and contextual information for finding aids and topical LibGuides
  • Write a blog post on items or collections of interest in the Library and Archives repository
  • Assist in development of content and design for web and online access and exhibit sites such as Omeka, the CBMR WordPress blog, SoundCloud, or Vimeo
  • Preparation of materials and equipment for digitization and preservation initiatives, including cleaning analog audio discs (LPs, 78s), cleaning and calibrating audio and video playback equipment, and learning software tools and standards for digitizing A/V materials, 3-D artifacts, and photographs
  • Create access and preservation copies of digital materials
  • Work with the DuraCloud system for cloud storage and streaming access
  • Create and design digital collections using CONTENTdm, OHMS (Oral History), and browser-based on site access for restricted materials
  • Workflow documentation and refinement, visualisation and “how-to” information
  • Create a social media, content, and/or outreach plan to heighten awareness of a collection or set of materials on a theme


Attention to detail a must. Patience and a readiness to tackle projects such as item by item listings of vintage sound recordings and composer score collections, is all-important. Willingness to try new things and to follow directions.

Archival coursework and/or hands-on experience required. Familiarity with archival collections management systems a plus.

Knowledge of content editing, HTML/CSS and web design, online presentation platforms preferred, but not required. Ability to create and/or edit audio-visual and written content will allow you to take on related projects. Good written communications and research skills required.

CONTACT Laurie Lee Moses, Archivist and Digital Librarian to apply or ask questions.

About The Center for Black Music Research

The Center for Black Music Research,, exists to illuminate the significant role that black music plays in world culture by serving as a nexus for all who value black music, by promoting scholarly thought and knowledge about black music, and by providing a safe haven for the materials and information that document the black music experience across Africa and the diaspora.

About Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is an international leader and recognized pioneer in arts and media education. With over 120 years of deep experience teaching creative students to develop authentic voices and meaningful skills, Columbia graduates are fully prepared to launch sustainable careers in the visual, performing, media and communication arts. Our educational philosophy is rooted in the essential wedding of theory with practice. Our students are immersed in a creative learning environment designed to give them ample opportunity to test and perfect their art, craft or practice, while grounding them in a rigorous academic curriculum that provides broad context and the intellectual, analytical and creative capacity to succeed in their chosen fields.

Location and Hours

618 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60605

The CBMR is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Open to the public from 10am to 4pm Monday through Thursday, and 10am to 1pm on Fridays.




Recent Articles


  • CrossTalk: Cross Talk is a student-driven, multimedia destination dedicated to original student work that explores the sound-music continuum of the African Diaspora.
  • Depth Sounding: A platform for short-form scholarship intended for a wide audience, Depth Sounding is a space for up-to-the-minute thought in which authors can experiment with format, media, content, argument construction, and more, in ways that privilege or more fully integrate sound.
  • Free/Phase: Follow the FREE/PHASE suite of sound-based art works by artists Mendi+Keith Obadike, commissioned by the CBMR.
  • From the Stacks: Reviews and reactions to lucky “finds” and new additions within the CBMR Library and Archives–updated as serendipity leads. Contributors: staff, student workers, students, interns, patrons.
  • News: Events, notices, reviews–things that are timely.
  • Publications: All the in-house publications of the CBMR, past and present plus planned, except for the monographs and the BMRJ, which are available elsewhere. Ask us!