Intern, Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Adams MA

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum is looking for interns for the spring & summer of 2014. We are a small, house museum in northwestern Massachusetts.  The Museum has a small but dedicated staff of employees and volunteers. We are seeking 8 motivated individuals willing to help in a variety of multidisciplinary projects, through the summer; as well as opportunities throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Listed below are the relevant academic fields for our program. Each is linked to a list of projects that would fall within that discipline. There is overlap between related disciplines, so creative combinations of these projects is encouraged. Successful candidates should be willing to choose several foci from the lists and help integrate them into a single program.

In order to get the full Museum experience, some public relations, business and day to day operations of running a museum will be integral to the position.  Interns are expected to assist staff with providing tours, working in the gift shop, and interacting with volunteers.

In Brief:

Applicants are expected to be self motivated and willing to work creatively within budget and technology restraints. 

Course credit can be achieved if arrangements can be made through the intern's college or university. Housing is provided, along with a food allowance.

 The deadline for interest letters, resumes, applications and questionnaires is March, 15 2014.  Interviews and selection will be completed by April 1, 2013.  

Send resumes & letters of interest to:  Colleen E. Janz, Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum, P.O. Box 0244, Adams, MA  01220 or electronically to colleen@susanbanthonybirthplace.org. Each applicant will receive an email with the application and questionnaire attached, which will also need to be completed for the selection process.

Opportunities Include (but are not limited to):

Computers and Technology:

The Birthplace is working to integrate technology appropriately in an historic environment; a technology intern would be involved not only in the day-to-day technical concerns of the museum, but also in the planning and implementation of technical programs and materials for the Birthplace.

 Projects might include:

Producing video or audio materials on both the historic & modern women's rights movements, for use by educational groups & possible public distribution

Creating multi-media & interactive kiosks or displays for patrons of the museum, with a particular emphasis on children.

Exploring 19th c. children's crafts and activities and finding ways to present & integrate them into the museum

Researching the appropriateness of an audio tour to the Birthplace; designing & implementing such if appropriate

Working with staff & volunteers on the museum website, including interactive elements and marketing efforts

Producing a power point around 19c and early 20c suffrage postcards from the Museum's collection

 

History:

An intern with a history background could focus on research in a variety of fields related to Miss Anthony & her family. Possible topics include:

The social and political involvements of the Anthony family, from Lucy & Daniel (parents) forward.

Daniel Read Anthony (brother) - his role in the Kansas territory, both as a political figure & a newspaperman; his role in Civil War; the duels & other personal conflicts of which he was a part

Mary Anthony (sister) - her support of the suffrage movement, her role in Susan's political work, her signing of the Declaration of Sentiments at Rochester

Jacob Merit (brother) - his association with John Brown & service in the Civil War

Guelma (sister) - politics and family life of the eldest Anthony sibling 

Hannah (sister) - political involvement & family life

Industrialization of the Berkshires- history of mills, etc.

Massachusetts suffrage & anti-suffrage organizations- their history & role in the larger national movement

Hicksite/Orthodox Quaker split in the Berkshires - affects on the Anthony family

History of the Tophet- dredging, damming, etc., changes in river usage & culture in Adams & the Berkshires

Daniel Anthony's mill- archeological evidence, probable types of machines, investigation of cloth types manufactured & his overall place in the industrialization of Adams.

Anthony family farming- information on the family farms, gardens, and produce of the clan

Suffrage organizations & the rifts between them (particularly the American Woman Suffrage Association & the National Woman Suffrage Association)

Any of these topics might be further developed for publication either through local sources or in the museum newsletter.

Museum Studies:

A museum studies intern would focus on the process of museum itself, including both program development and research on material artifacts within the Birthplace collections & possible acquisitions to the collection.

With collections, it would be possible to:

Research legal and practical standards for loaning and deaccessioning objects held by the museum

Research objects transferred to the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester from the Society of Quaker Descendants in Adams

Develop collection notes for the shoe collection of the museum and undertake funding & marketing of that travelling display

Possible programs would include:

Interactive kiosks for the Birthplace & content for them (ex. The Revolution, Quaker life, etc.)

Cell phone audio tours- costs, benefits, content

Other opportunities:

            Research on Miss Anthony's childhood stitch sampler & possibilities for reproduction

            Dating of textiles & coverlets held by the Birthplace

Aesthetics of the Birthplace- architectural and decorative choices made by Daniel & Lucy here & in later homes; possible social & religious influences

Sociology/Political Science:

A sociology or political science intern would have the opportunity to explore the underlying factors in the lives of the Anthonys and the movements of their time.

Topics of research could include:

The role of Quakers in the Civil War, both as conscientious dissenters and as so-called "Fighting Quakers", and the effects of this on the Quaker establishment

The suffrage and anti-suffrage associations of Massachusetts, their role in the larger national movements, and the root social causes behind  affiliation with either party

Quakerism in the Berkshires, most notable the effects of the Hicksite/Orthodox rift

Sources that expand upon suffrage opposition to abortion and the underpinnings of that opposition

Sources that lend to understanding the Anthony's support of a cotton boycott

Non-Quaker religious influences in Miss Anthony's life (Unitarianism, etc.)

Current legislation and aid available for women's history sites & the possibilities of linking such sites in a "women's history trail"

Programming possibilities would include:

            Developing possibilities for kiosk displays in the museum

Researching the women's rights & feminist movements post-Anthony & post-suffrage, and what questions and challenges that leaves today & finding ways to bring this information to the public

Indexing of The Revolution for topical searches

Women's Studies:

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace offers a variety of possibilities to an intern in women's studies to bring together diverse fields and influences.

Possible directions of work include:

Research on the Anthony sisters- Susan was not alone in her work. What political involvement did her sisters' take and how did their family lives feature in Susan's vision & work?

Suffrage and anti-suffrage in MA- how did these organizations relate to the national campaigns on woman suffrage? What can be discerned regarding the social faction behind each party?

Beyond the Quakers, what religious movements influenced Miss Anthony's work, and what effect did these groups have?

What role does Miss Anthony's work have in the modern women's rights movement, and how do women today integrate or move beyond that work and message?

What sources can be found that contradict or expand upon suffrage opposition to abortion? 

The split between the National Woman Suffrage Association & the American Woman Suffrage Association is the most prominent break in the women's rights movement- what can be learned from this split? Create an article or otherwise bring this to the public

Education and Curriculum Development:   

The Anthony Birthplace is at heart an educational institution. It is our particular goal to reach out to school-age children at both the local and regional level, to bring Miss Anthony's story to life. An educational intern would help in developing and promoting that programming.

Execute a program for use by schools in coordination with fieldtrips to the Birthplace. ensure that this meets state standards for curricular support; promote this program to local schools & youth organizations

Study children's culture in the Berkshires contemporary to the Anthonys- schooling, roll of children in mills, etc. & design curricular materials to present this

Work on possible kiosk designs and programming for the museum

Design and research scavenger hunts or similar activities for use by children's groups in the museum.

Architecture and Historic Preservation:

For an intern interested in architectural questions and issues of preservation, the Birthplace offers several avenues of investigation:

Research the extent & network of Anthony & Read lands in Adams, and  when those families came to the area to the present

Explore aesthetic and architectural choice made by the Anthonys here & in comparison to other homes in which they resided. Discuss and present possible cultural & social influences in those decisions.

Communications/Public Relations:

An intern in communications fields has the chance to help manage a growing network of contacts here at the Museum. Projects would include outreach to groups and organizations within our communities, a focus on advertising as well as the creation of original materials for engaging the public.

Projects could include:

            Developing effective advertising to encourage museum visitation

Visiting and offering presentations to locals schools, organizations, etc., related both to history topics, encouraging visitation and soliciting volunteers and supporters

Coordinate outreach to schools and tour agencies to promote the museum

Design activities and press materials around Adam's Susan B. Anthony Days and other significant events locally

Create public media related to women's rights, both as an ongoing effort & as an historic movement.

Help staff and volunteers in the production and distribution of our newsletter & other promotional materials and literature

Using social media to better network the museum to youth

Design and possible performance of local television or radio ads

 

Business/Marketing:

An intern interested in business & marketing would be involved in the gift shop of the museum as well as related advertising efforts. This presents the opportunity to aid in the active business decisions of the museum, and learn how the retail aspects of the Birthplace interact with its overall mission.

Possible projects include:

            Assisting in inventory & inventory selection

Researching products that both contribute to the educational aspects of the museum and appeal to the public (books, doll, craft kits, Quaker hats, brooms)

Marketing of the gift shop, special promotions, themes to connect to the public

Tie-ins between the shop & advertising efforts as a whole

Integration of technology in the gift-shop; feasibility of putting some of all of our product inventory online for off-site sales

 Development and Finance:

Like all non-profits, the Birthplace relies on a variety of funding sources to make its mission possible; this would be an opportunity for an intern to take direct part in the funding, grant writing, and sponsorship programs that underwrite the museum's work.

Research grants applicable to particular museum projects (interactive kiosks, display cases, funding for school groups)

Search out and contact possible sponsors of events, projects, and displays (ex. Company or group willing to fund travelling shoe exhibit)

Research cooperative grants with other local organizations- funding for children's space & activities with local youth groups; backing for senior discussion groups & tours

Cooperative ventures with other women's and history organizations

 

For inclusion with all sections:

These lists are a sampling of possible projects. It is our hope to make these internships an active partnership by integrating these plans with the particular skills and interests of our applicants. Interdisciplinary ideas and new avenues of exploration are welcome for consideration.

Opportunities