Multifaceted Hands-On Archival Internship

The Sousa Mendes Foundation, a Holocaust remembrance organization, offers an internship experience to students preparing for careers in libraries and archives. The heroic acts of Aristides de Sousa Mendes crossed many geographic boundaries, and so do the projects and programs supporting the mission of the Foundation dedicated to perpetuating his legacy. The collection includes resources, not only about Sousa Mendes, but also contextual history and culture pertaining to WWII. Materials in the Collection include original paper documents, photographs, audio-visual materials, three-dimensional objects; many of which are to be included in an upcoming exhibit.

Interns will work closely with the archival team, led by a certified archivist, to develop professional level skills that will prepare them for the workforce, emerging with a well-rounded understanding of how an archive operates. This is a hands-on experience which provides the intern options to meet personal goals and interests in one or more of these various key factors of archives and special collections processing and management:

•Arrangement and Description
•Cataloging and Metadata
•Development and Promotion
•Digitization Initiatives
•Exhibit Design and Implementation
•Outreach, Advocacy, and Education
•Preservation and Protection
•Reference and Access
•Scholarly and Professional Communication
•Selection, Appraisal, and Acquisition

About the Foundation —

Aristides de Sousa Mendes, as the Portuguese consul stationed in Bordeaux, France, he found himself confronted in June of 1940 with the reality of many thousands of refugees outside the Portuguese consulate attempting to escape. Portugal, under the dictatorial rule of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, issued a directive to all its diplomats to deny safe haven to refugees, including explicitly Jews, Russians, and stateless persons who could not freely return to their countries of origin. Aristides de Sousa Mendes’s act of heroism consisted in choosing to defy these inhumane orders and follow his conscience instead. In all, Sousa Mendes issued some 30,000 visas, including about 10,000 to Jews, over the period of a few days.

This heroic feat was characterized as “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” In 1966 Israel declared Aristides de Sousa Mendes to be a “Righteous Among the Nations.” The United States Congress issued a proclamation honoring his heroic act. Later he was finally recognized by Portugal, when its President Mario Soares apologized to the Sousa Mendes family and the Portuguese Parliament promoted him posthumously to the rank of Ambassador. The face of Aristides de Sousa Mendes has now appeared on postage stamps in several countries.

But this work is just beginning, and you can help. It is important to continue to share this history and broadcast it far and wide, because it stands as a moral example to act against intolerance, racism and genocide today.

The location of the work shall take place in Greenlawn, NY. A location on the North shore of Long Island’s Suffolk County, it is easily accessible by the LIRR and major highway and parkway systems. The Sousa Mendes Foundation does not discriminate based on race, gender/gender identity, nationality, religion, age, disability, familial status, or sexual orientation.

•Currently enrolled in/graduated from a degree program, with some coursework in archival studies.
•Familiarity with basic archival principles and standards.
•Skilled with Microsoft Office and Google Drive programs
•Ability to work independently and collaboratively
•Availability of hours 8am to 4p weekdays

Please have the following information available when completing the Application Form:
•Letter of interest — a short description of what you hope to gain from and what you hope to bring to the internship
•Reference(s) – name and contact information
•Although not required, if applicant has any level of fluency in Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Hebrew, or another language other than English, please include that in your letter of interest

If you believe you would be a good fit for this internship but do not match all requirements, please apply and add your personal story in your letter of interest.


Additional Salary Information: While this is an unpaid internship it can be used for school credit, scheduling is flexible, and a travel stipend is possible.

Leave a Reply