Apply for Alternative Spring Break 2023

A collage of photos of SIS students who have participated in the Alternative Spring Break program.

Wayne State's School of Information Sciences (SIS) is happy to announce Alternative Spring Break (ASB) projects at several respected institutions during the university's 2023 Spring Break, March 13-17.

ASB is a competitive program in which chosen applicants are paired with one of the country's premiere information organizations for an intensive week-long internship that aligns with the student's area of interest. The program aims to give students the opportunity to take their classroom theory into cultural institutions and develop essential skills related to the profession. Read more about ASB and read first-hand accounts from past participants here.

ASB is open to current SIS archival and digital content management (DCM) students.  At least two archival or DCM classes need to be completed for eligibility. Please be aware that applying students should have a base knowledge of the field to be useful to host institutions.

All students accepted into the program will be paid for their work, and all projects are 40 hours of work unless noted. For on-site programs, some travel money will be allotted. Please specify how much money you would need for travel. SIS will attempt to cover the majority of transportation and hotel costs.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 5, 2023.

Submission Requirements:

1.) Résumé (be sure that it includes expected graduation date, niche' courses or projects and technology skills)
2.) Unofficial transcript
3.) Contact information for one to two professional references
4.) A paragraph citing how you estimate this will help you professionally/why you are applying
5.) Clearly list the three projects that you are most interested in by institution and project name and number

Apply here: Alternative Spring Break - Wayne State University

Please note that submission is not a guarantee of being awarded a project and that not all projects may be assigned. Also, additional projects may be added over the next two weeks.

Students will be notified on or about February 13, 2023, of acceptance to the program. 

SIS Alternative Spring Break Projects – 2023

(Please note that additional projects may be added.)

1.) Institute of American Indian Arts – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Assist with conservation workshop that will be hosted the week of spring break and provide assistance to the archivist on various smaller projects.

Positions available: 1

2.) University of Nebraska Omaha Libraries – Archives and Special Collections

Potential projects: 

  • Minimal processing and rehousing of university athletics material, arts-related collections or other manuscript collections
  • Description and rehousing of artifacts (3D objects, textiles, framed items)
  • Enhanced description for small manuscript collections (diaries, etc.)

Postiions available: 1

3.) University of Michigan – Bentley Historical Library – Ann Arbor, Michigan 

a) Assisting the Academic Programs Archivist

  • Exploring some of the learning frameworks and lesson design processes in use
  • Helping to select archival material and activities for 2-3 undergraduate classes 
  • Shadowing two class sessions and assisting with interpretation

b) Collections

  • Work with data related to collections assessment / diversity audit (basically attaching a chronological marker for when a collection came into the Bentley to data from a MARC record or other archival surrogate). Will give exposure to different kinds of metadata / description and how it can be used.

Positions available: 1

4.) Maryland State Archives – Annapolis, Maryland

  • Digitization of legislative history records from the early 2000's. The student/students would learn how to operate one of our production scanners and post production software.
  • Assisting with inventorying plat records in one of our oversized record storage spaces.

Positions available: 2

5.) Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs – Wayne State University, Detroit

a.) Transcription of pandemic oral histories. The work can be done remotely and during non-office hours.

b.) Small collection processing projects. Both collections (two linear feet each), are related to labor/union work (SEIU) and students would both process and create finding aids in ArchivesSpace.

6.) Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) "enhanced processing," which translates to taking sections of processed, but poorly described collections (i.e. three boxes described as "miscellaneous" or "printed matter").

The students will be expected to:

  • Do a proper modern archival description of the pertinent section of the finding aid.
  • And possibly "reprocess" that section: normally to involve some rearrangement, and sometimes make appraisal suggestions.

An attempt will be made to assign sections based on the student's interest (photographs, women's history, politics, etc.)

Positions available: 2

7.) University of Illinois – Sousa Archives and Center for American Music – Champaign, Illinois

Processing the Snyder Octavos Record Group - This is 13 cubic of music scores for choral directors and would require whoever decided to spend their break working for the center to have some music reading ability and choral music experience would be extremely useful. The student is not expected to have an extensive understanding of choral music traditions.

Positions available: 2

8.) Illinois State Archives – Springfield, IL

The Illinois State Archives is looking for students to do remote work creating metadata for various Department of Professional Regulation registers. Work would include entering descriptive metadata into a spreadsheet according to specified.

Positions available: 2

9.) Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens – Remote

Develop content for an exhibit case that will be delivered in March/April. This includes research and writing. The work would all be virtual, however, if the student was in Washington, D.C. for spring break, they could arrange to meet onsite during the ASB experience to have a behind the scenes tour of the archives and headquarters.

Positions available: 1

10.) Smithsonian National Museum of American History – Washington, D.C.

The project will be focused on processing of archival records, but may involve some research as time permits and back-up for the reference function.

Positions available: 1

11.) Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Remote

This is an entirely online experience, focused on creating EAC-CPF records in ASpace for individuals involved with MIT’s early history, and also working on a project to uncover the full names of women who are currently only identified by their married names in finding aids.

Positions available: 1

For more information, contact Arcival Program Coordinator Kim Schroeder at or 313-577-9783.

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