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

Application Deadline
March 1, 2021

Organization Description
Founded in 1812, the American Antiquarian Society is a learned society that supports a preeminent national research library specializing in North American history, life, and culture through the year 1900. The library serves a world-wide community of scholars.

Internship stipend
o Stipend for 12 weeks: $8,400 to be paid in three installments, at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the internship.
o Additional travel allowance, to and from Worcester: $1,000.
o Conference attendance fees and travel (if necessary) will be covered.

Summer 2021 (approximately mid-May through mid-August 2021)

Worcester, Massachusetts

Housing provided
Yes, on campus

Internship description
This 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.

Internship qualifications
Candidates will have an interest in exploring graduate studies in librarianship and information management or in history or art history; those who will be completing their first year in a graduate program in any of those areas are also invited to apply.

The Seiler Intern will join a lively community of scholars, curators and librarians as well as a cohort of other summer staff in various departments at the Society. Brief conservation training will be conducted.

Language skills
Ability to read, understand, speak and write in Standard English; Ability to communicate effectively in English with individuals in person, over the telephone, and via the printed word.

Work environment
Most duties are performed indoors in an office environment with artificial light and cool, thermostatically controlled temperatures. The noise level is low. Intern may be exposed to dust, mold, and/or other organic material or other irritants. Hazards are considered minor and controllable.

Physical demands
Duties require periods of standing, walking, sitting. Duties require occasional periods of climbing or balancing, pulling/pushing items including book trucks with materials, lifting/carrying items weighing up to approximately 30 lbs., reaching with arms and hands. Vision and hearing at or correctable to “normal ranges.” Other physical tasks include use of hands for basic grasping/manipulation, use of hands for fine manipulation, occasional reaching, stooping, bending, kneeling, crouching, keyboarding. Physical duties are subject to change. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meetings, workshops, etc.

Applicants, as well as position incumbents, who become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case by case basis.

This is a paid internship for summer 2021 with a stipend of $8,400 for twelve weeks and includes on-campus housing.
Additional funding is available for relocation to Worcester for the summer, as well as for conference attendance. Non- exempt full time, generally 35 hours per week, 9am – 5pm Monday - Friday

To apply
Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three (non-relative) references electronically to with “Seiler Intern 2021” in the subject line. The American Antiquarian Society is an equal opportunity employer in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.


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