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Call for Applications for the C. Dallett Hemphill Undergraduate Internships

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is co-sponsoring three undergraduate summer internships in the summer of 2019. The Center’s partner institutions in 2019 are The Speaker’s House, The 1719 Trent House Museum, and Wyck Historic house, Garden, and Farm. Stipends will vary; see below for more details.

These internships are open to undergraduate students at McNeil Center Consortium institutions and are designed to introduce students to professional work in public history settings. Interns are expected to work full-time (35 hours per week) on site for at least 8 weeks. Beginning and end dates will be arranged between the hosting institution and the intern, but internships should be completed by Sept. 1. Stipends are intended to cover housing in the Philadelphia area, travel to and from Philadelphia, and daily living expenses ā€“ all arrangements and costs for which are the responsibility of the intern. One half of the stipend will be paid at the beginning of the fellowship, and the other half will be remitted at the completion of the internship.

Please submit applications by March 15.

Partner Institutions and Position Descriptions

1. The Speaker’s House, located in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, aims to inspire leadership and civic engagement by bringing to life the home and legacy of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Born in Trappe in 1750, Frederick Muhlenberg was also a pivotal figure in local history, serving as the first president judge, recorder of deeds, and register of wills when Montgomery County was established in 1784. For several years his home in Trappe was a de facto center of government, until Norristown became the official county seat. In the early 2000s, his house was nearly torn down, but a grassroots effort by local citizens saved the building and its 1.9-acre property. A nonprofit organization was then formed to manage its restoration and development into a historic site. Now known as The Speaker’s House, the organization is a leader in Trappe’s community revitalization and historic preservation efforts.

The Speaker’s House will offer the opportunity to gain broad experience in conducting historical research, assisting with a variety of collections and exhibition-related projects, and communicating with a diverse public both in written and oral formats including giving guided tours of two historic sites. In particular, the intern will assist with the development of a special exhibition, “Roots: Ursinus College and the Pennsylvania Germans” (working title) opening in mid-September 2019. This will be the inaugural exhibition in a new Pennsylvania German heritage center, and is being organized in conjunction with Ursinus College’s 150th anniversary in 2019ā€“2020. The intern will also assist with the launch of the site’s digital fraktur archiveā€”a free online database with images, translations, and basic cataloging data relating to a genre of Pennsylvania German folk art that will be hosted by Ursinus College. Lastly, the intern will have the opportunity to participate in the site’s archaeology field school (May 28 to June 22), kitchen wing restoration, weekly farm stand, and numerous community-wide special events. The Speaker’s House is pleased to provide free local housing (including a private bedroom and shared bathroom, kitchen, and laundry) at its visiting scholars’ quarters located in a beautiful historic house at 702 W. Main Street in Trappe, directly across from Augustus Lutheran Church. Learn more at SpeakersHouse.org and HistoricTrappe.org.

The Speaker’s House intern will receive a stipend totaling $2,000 and free housing (including a private bedroom and shared bathroom, kitchen, and laundry) near the site.

2. The 1719 William Trent House Museum. Now in its 300th year, the Trent House stands as the oldest building in Trenton, New Jersey and serves as an important example of early Georgian domestic architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region. Listed since 1970 as a National Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic house museum has been restored and furnished to its appearance between 1719 when it was built and 1724 when William Trent died. During that period residents of the House included William Trent, a wealthy Philadelphia-based merchant, his second wife Mary Coddington Trent, their young son William, and eleven men, women, and children of African descent who were held in bondage by the Trents: Yaff, Joan, Bob, Dick, Nanny, Tom, Julius, Bossin, Harry, Cupid, and Pedro. 

Over the past several years the Museum has expanded its interpretation of slavery in New Jersey and is in the middle of a project to add new information and artifacts related to the connection of the House and its residents to slavery in its exhibits, tours, and programs. During the summer of 2018, we partnered with the History Department of the College of New Jersey to co-fund and co-supervise an internship program for an upper division undergraduate. The intern conducted research into the connection with slavery of House residents after Trent into the antebellum period. The 2019 summer internship project will build on and continue this work, with a combination of research into primary source materials, documentation and analysis of the research, and draft of a public education exhibit or presentation summarizing the results of the project. The site is especially interested in developing public education exhibits and programs that highlight the dynamic nature of historical inquiry, from framing questions to following leads as research unfolds to putting new information into context to raising additional topics for further inquiry.

The intern would have the opportunity to work with the Museum’s consultant for its work on slavery, Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps (https://1804consultants.net/about-linda-c-epps-phd/), and with Dr. Samuel Stephens, trustee and volunteer director of research and programming at the Museum. For more information about this site, visit https://williamtrenthouse.org/.

The Trent House intern will receive a stipend totaling $3,000.

3. Wyck Historic House, Farm, and Garden is a National Historic Landmark Located in the Germantown Section of Philadelphia. The estate and its collection of objects and papers provides a window into the everyday life of one Philadelphia family over nearly three hundred years, from 1690 to 1974. Wyck’s collections reflects this family’s passion for education, Quaker simplicity, natural history, and horticulture and the site is committed to making this collection available for public research.

Wyck will provide an intern with hands-on experience working with its collection of over 10,000 objects and communicating its holdings to the public. The intern’s primary assignment would be to help Wyck prepare to launch its online collection database in the fall of 2019. This project would involve assisting Wyck staff in researching and writing digitization policies, photographing collections objects, integrating images into Past Perfect, and researching artifacts to improve the metadata of objects in the database. With the establishment of an online image database, public knowledge of Wyck’s remarkable collection will spark new research and insights into historical lifeways.

This internship would involve a direct collaboration with the Director of Interpretation and Public Outreach. In addition to hands-on instruction in digitizing and handling collections objects, readings and videos will be provided to help guide the intern’s learning about best practices in the fields of digitization material culture handling, object research, and public history. Finally, the intern would have recourse to mentorship opportunities with Drexel University faculty associated with the Drexel History Department. For more information about Wyck Historic House, Farm, and Garden, visit Wyck.org.

The Wyck intern will receive a stipend totaling $3,000.

 

Eligibility
This program is intended for students currently enrolled at McNeil Center Consortium institutions. If your institution is not yet a Consortium member, please contact Amy Baxter-Bellamy (email address below) for more information. Students should explain their interest and (where applicable) experience in history, historic preservation, museum studies, or archival work.

Submission
Please address applications and inquiries to:
Amy Baxter-Bellamy
Associate Director, MCEAS
abaxter@sas.upenn.edu

Applicants should submit the following in a single pdf document. Letters of recommendation may arrive under separate cover.
1. Cover Sheet. (Click on link to fill out cover sheet--including contact info, institution, major/minor, anticipated date of graduation, recommender, and ranking of interest in internships ā€“ do not rank internships for which you do not wish to be considered).
2. Application letter. The applicant should explain his/her interest in these internships, relevant experience and coursework, commitment to pursuing interests in public history or related fields, and what s/he hopes to gain from this summer internship.
3. C.V.
4. Transcript (unofficial)
5. Letter of recommendation from professional reference (professor or public history professional): due via email directly from recommender to Amy Baxter-Bellamy (abaxter@sas.upenn.edu) by March 15.