Simmons Graduate Internship Program
The Henry Ford’s Simmons Internship Program is designed for current graduate students pursuing
careers in museums, historical agencies, conservation labs, or related fields. This internship
provides participants with a great opportunity to gain in-depth work experience in a major
American history museum.
Stipend and Terms of Internship
Simmons interns are awarded stipends for a minimum 12-week full time internship. Starting and
ending dates for individual internships are negotiable. The Simmons Internship Program is funded by
the Vera W. and Walter E. Simmons Endowment Fund.
Three internship opportunities are available for 2017. Applications should include:
• A letter of application, stating how your graduate studies, work and/or volunteer experience and
personal interests qualify you for the specific project
• A résumé
• Two letters of recommendation regarding your qualifications for the internship, submitted
directly by the authors
The deadline for application is Friday, March 10 (postmarked or emailed by 11:59 PM EST).
Please submit inquiries, letter of application, résumé and letters of recommendation to
HistoryInternship@TheHenryFord.org or Saige Jedele, Simmons Internship Coordinator, The Henry
Ford (20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029).
2017 Simmons Graduate Internship Opportunities
Archival Internship – American Textile Industry Collection
The Henry Ford has acquired a collection of material culture and archival material related to the
American textile industry, including costume textile manufacturing equipment and a large number
of textile samples and pattern books. The fabrics in the collection represent a rich variety of
historical textiles used in all areas of American life, and include cotton, woolen, worsted, silk, and
synthetic produced by hundreds of American manufacturers. The collection of cotton prints is
particularly strong, with various samples manufactured by 10 companies, including Adams, Allen,
Cocheco, Arnold, Consolidated Engraving Company, Dan Cooper, Hamilton, Lancaster Mills,
Merrimack and J.P. Stevens.
Under the direction of the Archives & Library Manager and the archival staff, the intern will:
Research the individual textile manufacturers represented in the collection and document
their historical significance.
Assist with movement and inventory of the textile samples, pattern books and documents.
Establish a high-level arrangement for the materials and create a collection-level scope and
content note to support development of a finding aid.
The successful candidate must be currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Archival Studies, have
excellent organizational and communication skills, be accurate in their work and have an eye for
detail. Experience with archival arrangement and description, and standard archival methods and
best practices is also required.
Conservation Internship – Battery Collection
The Henry Ford has large collections holdings in early electrical and industrial devices, including
experimental objects from the labs of both Edison and Westinghouse (Tesla). Currently we hold
hundreds of old batteries of all types in a number of storage areas. These batteries pose a potential
hazard while at the same time having great historical interest.
The Henry Ford is seeking a Conservation Intern to research safe storage recommendations for
batteries of all kinds and to experiment with treatment protocols that would stabilize actively
We are seeking a very motivated candidate with extensive coursework in chemistry and/or
electrical engineering, with excellent research and writing skills who can work in dirty and dusty
The successful candidate will work under the direction of the Senior Conservator to:
Develop a working knowledge of the history of batteries through major publications, online
resources and study of the collection.
Assist with an inventory of existing batteries in storage at The Henry Ford.
Compile a chart of all battery types and recommend appropriate mitigation treatments for
long-term storage, including appropriate housing and environmental controls.
US citizens only.
Curatorial Internship – Clothing Collection
This internship, focused around selected garments in The Henry Ford’s Clothing collection, offers
experience in material culture documentation.
Under the direction of the Curator of Domestic Life and the Chief Registrar, the intern will complete
research on the original owners of a range of garments, the majority dating from the second half of
the 20th century. The intern will not only conduct background research on these individuals in
publicly available resources, but—where possible—will contact these individuals to interview them
about the garments. The intern will write short biographies and user histories, then capture this
information in the catalog records for the garments in the museum’s collections management
Successful candidate should be currently enrolled in a program leading to a master’s degree in
Museum Studies, History, American Studies, or a related field. Good organizational and
communication skills, accuracy, and attention to detail are essential. Experience with material
culture, researching historical objects, and familiarity with standard museum cataloging and
archival practices is desirable. Interest in the history of fashion and in family history research