Intern Program at the National Guard Memorial Museum, Library, and Archive

The Intern Program at the National Guard Memorial Museum is entering its 4th successful year with over a dozen interns having passed through our artifact room! What started as a small initiative to expand the staff through volunteerism quickly grew into a program designed to educate and support students of Museum Studies in the local area. Although it was originally designed to host only graduate students, one undergraduate and two high schoolers have gone through the semester-long course. Most of the interns have been graduate students at the George Washington University’s Master’s Degree in Museum Studies but others have come from the Catholic University of America, the University of Maryland, and George Mason University Fine Arts program.
Upon arriving to begin the semester, Interns are introduced to their working area – the Artifact Room, the Archives, the Library, and the Museum itself. They take tours of the building, meet the staff, and get settled in. Most of their duties focus on collection management and they work directly with the 2,000 artifacts in the NGEF collection. Using our computers, they carefully record artifact condition, provenance, and ownership. Most agree that the best part of their stay here is working with the stories behind each artifact – talking about the item and how it fits into the history of the National Guard of the United States.
When not working in the Artifact Room, the Interns give Museum tours, get a chance to create their own exhibits, attend assessments and meetings, and go on a field trip to another Museum in the local area. Our interns have moved on from the National Guard Memorial Museum with greater knowledge of the practicalities faced by a non-profit, private Museum and the day-to-day requirements of keeping it working in top condition.