Internships

A field internship (HIST 496) (3 credit hours) is designed to provide the advanced student with the opportunity to pursue a research topic in the context of an experiential learning situation—in a historical organization or foundation in the tri-county area.
Prerequisites: EITHER HIST 115-116 or any other combination of courses that satisfies the general education history requirement, juniors or seniors in good academic standing, and permission of the internship advisor and the department chair. 

Contact Dr. Sandra Slater, Internship Advisor for History for details on the current internships. She will discuss the process of applying for and completing a successful internship experience. There are many internship opportunities, both local and national, that are excellent for History students.  Department of History internships provide majors and minors with valuable experience and exposure to jobs that require historical training in libraries, archives, museums and historical sites.

Enrollment forms:
History Department Field Internship Contract and Expectations Form
Application for Individual Enrollment (available from your Internship Advisor)
Requirements for Internship credit require 120 hours of onsite service, a journal or log of activities and a 4-5 page final paper

List of Internship Sites with a summary of Internship duties:
Historic Charleston FoundationThe interns would assist the HCF Manager of Easements (April Wood) with property inspections for the administration of our Easement and Covenant Program (currently numbering about 400 properties).  This includes site visits, inspections and follows up paperwork.  The intern would also conduct targeted historic and property research as needed.  The student would also assist the manager of Research of Education (me) with setting up educational programming that utilizes our museum houses as well as the larger historic environment of Charleston.  This initiative is particularly targeted at K-12 public school children who are visiting.  Lots of other small research and documentary tasks pop up all the time.  The students tend to get a broad overview of a large preservation nonprofit and gain exposure to the variety of work therein.
H.L. Hunley
Friends of the Hunley Docents/Educators lead private and public tours at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center.  In an interactive environment, they present information pertinent to the HL Hunley, including her History, Discovery, Recovery, Excavation and Conservation.  Docents must have excellent verbal communication and be well versed in all matter relating to the Hunley Project. They must be personable and be able to interact with guests of diverse backgrounds and ages.
Charleston Library Society
As intern, students will be working with the Charleston Library Society's manuscripts division and rare book collection.  They will be trained on transcribing correspondences and then begin transcribing letters and manuscripts - these items will mostly be from the 18th and 19th-century. In addition to transcription, she will also be evaluating rare books and learning about book appraisal and preservation techniques.
Avery Research Center
Administration operations: reception desk coverage, message taking, and record keeping of tour visitation
Guiding tours: student will go through training process, approval, and conduct general tours
Archival assistance: organize books, pull resource materials for patrons, scan research materials, and assist archival staff when needed, Assist with organization of education materials, Assist with education programs, Assist with Avery Research Center public programs (various organizational tasks, subject to student’s schedule) Completion of one major project in concert with the Education and Archives Department
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Interns at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will assist either the Director of Research or Director of Public Relations. Those assisting the Director of Research will engage in researching, documenting, and assisting in an exhibition focusing on the African Americans who lived and worked at Magnolia Plantation. This is part of our ongoing program called “From Slavery to Freedom,” which focuses on extant slave cabins on the property. Those assisting the Director of Public Relations will engage in promoting activities and program at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens through a variety of media such as film, television, social media, radio, and other formats.
Waring Historical Library TBA
Addlestone Special Collections
Addlestone Digital Humanities
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon 

Some Recent History Internship Projects:

underwood.jpgAnne Marie Underwood details several internship experiences - "My first summer I worked on two different projects as a research assistant for General Mills' Department of Sustainability.  The first project was an in-depth analysis of alternatives to plastic packaging, and the other was a compilation and summary of the existing scientific research surrounding the interactions of the microbiome of soils with the microbiome of the human gut.  Going into the project, I knew very little about sustainability and even less about soil science, but I was surprised at how well my history skills transferred.  Regardless of the discipline, reading comprehension and written communication are always going to be vital, and studying history repeatedly gives students the opportunity to develop both of those skills.  

During my next internship, I conducted a field study on sustainable agriculture in Minnesota.  While interning on the farm, I also had the chance to work as a translator, and it became my job to learn and communicate the constantly changing COVID-19 safety protocols.  In this role, my background in history was invaluable.  Because of the coursework I had completed at The College, I knew how to effectively research information, understand it, and communicate it to a diverse audience, which helped keep my workplace safe and open during a "historic" time.  Moreover, the internship helped me recognize that I want to study agricultural law, so that I can help the people and places that produce our food.  

Lastly, this summer I'm working as an intern at a law firm in downtown Charleston.  Most of my job entails reading, writing, and piecing together scattered bits of information, all of which closely mirrors the work I've done in my history courses.  The internship has been a phenomenal introduction to what life as a lawyer is like in a small firm, and it has given me the chance to put my research, analysis, and writing skills into action within a legal context."

 

dickerhoff.jpgReese Dickerhoff - My name is Reese Dickerhoff and I am going into my junior year at the College. I am a History and Political Science double major with a concentration in politics, philosophy, and law. This summer I applied to intern for Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s First District. My day to day work includes working with constituents to solve issues they may be having with government agencies, taking the Representative to events she needs to attend, and working with her staff to execute her obligations as a sitting House member. The connection with my majors really ties into the kind of events the Representative goes to and that I attend. I have been to businesses that focus on historical restoration and renovation and helped the Representative get connected with historical Charleston clubs and organizations. My internship has evolved well beyond what I anticipated from the job description and I would love to help anyone get connected to a political internship in South Carolina!

 

marian.jpgMarian Williams - I recently interned with the Development and Memberships Department at the Charleston Library Society on King Street. The Society is the oldest cultural institution in the South and houses many rare and prized documents relating to literature and colonial American history, among others. Through my internship, I learned about and gained a lot of experience in fundraising, from using development software to patron stewardship. I am very honoured and fortunate to have been a part of an organisation with such a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the City of Charleston.

Cale Hartley's History internship, "Slaves and Free Men of Color Musicians in 18th and 19th Century America" - Cale worked with Dr. Nic Butler at the Charleston County Public Library Archives, researching the inclusion of slaves and free men of color in the Charleston regiments of the Antebellum South Carolina Militia. Drawing on his background as a classical percussionist, Cale is composing snare drum accompaniments to martial tunes known to have been played on fife instruments in the 18th and 19th century. In addition, he will research the surviving tax records of free persons of color in Antebellum Charleston, the ‘capitation tax’ records, to gather information about free men known to have performed as musicians in the local militia. Archivist Dr. Nick Butler and student Cale Harley (snare drum) perform The White Cockade and the South Carolina Hymn at a public lecture at the Charleston Public Library.

Two History majors interning at Magnolia Plantation worked on The African American Cabin Project, "From Slavery to Freedom: A Testament of Time." They  produced two posters detailing the history and preservation of former slave cabins at Magnolia Plantation entitled: 1930 Era Cabins: Segregation and 1969 Civil Rights Era: The Leach Family Home.

A History alumnus comments on his internship with the Historical Charleston Foundation...
"My internship at the Historic Charleston Foundation greatly helped me in learning how to apply my skills developed as a History major. Additionally, Internships are a great opportunity to explore areas of history students do not get to see in the classroom. In my case, interning at Historic Charleston taught me about the rich architectural heritage of Charleston and the relationship architecture has with the history of the city. The experience of going up to the top of the steeple in St. Michael's Church is something I never would have been able to do otherwise. I highly recommend all students take advantage of the internship opportunities available through the history department".