Seiler Cataloging Internship at the American Antiquarian Society

Nadia Sophie Seiler at the Strahov Monastery Library in PragueThe Seiler Cataloging Internship was established in memory of Nadia Sophie Seiler. Nadia’s passion for books and libraries began at an early age—when she was 4, she turned her room into a library and issued every member of her family library cards. Her love of words and language led her to Carleton College, where she wrote her senior thesis on the works of Joyce and Nabokov; her other passions included ancient Greek, French, and her cello. After college, Nadia worked in publishing in New York, then earned her MLIS at the University of Michigan, beginning work as a cataloger at the Folger Shakespeare Library in 2007. She was named Rare Materials Cataloger at the Folger in 2011 and, thanks to her language background and passion for puzzles, she became a leading paleographer of “secretary hand.” Working with some of the most complex manuscripts, ephemera, and oddities of the early modern era, Nadia contributed thousands of MARC records to the Folger database. Just before her death in 2014, she was promoted to Senior Cataloger. In Nadia’s memory, the Nadia Sophie Seiler Fund is dedicated to creating opportunities for early career librarians. You can read more at

The Seiler Cataloging Internship at the American Antiquarian Society has been filled for 2021.

Internship description
The 2021 internship will be based in the Society’s graphic arts department. The AAS graphic arts collections are diverse and expansive, incorporating over 400,000 historic American objects dating from before 1900. The department cares for engravings, lithographs, cartoons, broadsides, maps, ephemera, sheet music, drawings and photography. The ideal candidate will have an interest and/or background in cultural history or art history, especially printing and graphic arts.

The Seiler Cataloging Intern will learn
o The care and handling of rare materials in a special collections environment
o How libraries collect through purchase, donation, and opportunity
o How cataloging standards work and why they are used
o How to match resources to the readers who need them

In order to achieve these goals, the intern will work closely with the Society’s Visual Materials Cataloger. The intern will learn how to process, describe, and catalog visual material, including sheet music, prints, and ephemera. By the end of the internship the Seiler Intern will have used the MARC format to catalog a selection of approximately 100 pieces of nineteenth-century American sheet music featuring lyrics by well-known American and European authors including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Lord Byron. Instructional cataloging for other types of visual material, including ephemera, broadsides, and prints will be completed as time permits. In addition, the intern will sit in on collection development meetings for all collecting departments, learn the process of how AAS chooses what to acquire, and assist in housing and storing recent acquisitions. The intern will promote and share collections they work with via AAS social media, blog posts, and with researchers in the library. The intern’s work will be supervised by the Chief Curator.

The Seiler Cataloging Intern will have the opportunity and the support to attend a relevant conference with AAS colleagues. This conference, and/or other training sessions and/or webinars, may be virtual.

During the internship, the Seiler intern will have opportunities to engage with fellows, scholars, readers and staff.


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