Volunteer Archiving Intern Position, Laboratory of Adult Development, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA

Volunteer Archiving Intern Position
The Laboratory of Adult Development
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Principal Investigator: Robert J. Waldinger, M.D.

Position Description:
The Study of Adult Development is one of the longest and richest longitudinal studies of human development ever conducted. For more than 70 years, two groups of men have been studied from adolescence into late life to identify the predictors of healthy aging. This study has allowed us to examine psychological traits, social factors, and biological processes that characterize adolescents and forty-year-olds who evolve into vigorous and engaged octogenarians.


The study has created an unprecedented database of life histories with which to view the dynamic character of the aging process. To date, it has been a resource for over 150 scholars and scientists studying topics ranging from the influence of maternal warmth on young adult physical health, to the effects of combat exposure on social functioning, to the relationship between early life adversity and late life cognitive functioning.


The study is made up of two groups,

  • The Harvard cohort, known as the "Grant Study," is a group of 268 Harvard graduates from the classes of 1939-1944.
  • The Inner-City cohort, known as the "Glueck Study," is a group of 456 men who grew up in the inner-city neighborhoods of Boston, originally selected for a study by Harvard Law School professor Sheldon Glueck between 1940 and 1945.

Position Description:

Recently, our lab has undertaken a project to completely archive all study data in electronic format in order to preserve this one-of-a-kind data set and make it more widely available as a resource for scholars of human development. We are looking for volunteer interns to assist us in preparing the records for scanning. Duties include document labeling, ordering, and organizing, and inventory creation.


Commitment is for 8 hours per week (two 4 hour shifts) for the winter and summer, with a start date in January. Days and hours are flexible. Candidates should possess excellent organizational skills and the capacity to work independently. This is a wonderful opportunity for students with an interest in archiving, library work, history, historical research, and/or preservation. Our lab is happy to work with the intern to provide course credit, future recommendations, etc. Interns will also be encouraged and
invited to participate in weekly lab meetings.


If interested, please send a resume and cover letter to: Laura Distel, Project Coordinator, LDISTEL@partners.org

Opportunities