Nov 14, 2017

Letterform Archive Winter Internship

The internship will focus on collections and editorial projects, and begins January 2018 with a flexible start date and duration. Applications are due December 1.

Summer 2017 intern Florence Fu browses type foundry ephemera. Read about her experience.

Letterform Archive is seeking a friendly, organized, proactive, detail-oriented, and reliable individual to serve as its winter intern.

This internship will provide an exciting opportunity for a student, recent graduate, or anyone interested in a career in libraries, archives, or museums to explore the operations of Letterform Archive by learning about and supporting its collections and editorial projects as well ongoing public programming.

About Us

Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, and community. We opened to visitors in February 2015 and offer hands-on access to a curated collection of over 40,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning 2,000 years of history.

So far, we have welcomed over 5,000 visitors from 30 countries, including students, practitioners, and letterform admirers from every creative background to the Archive. Some come with specific research ideas in mind, while others are simply looking for inspiration. Invariably, thanks to the breadth and accessibility of the collection, they stumble on something unexpected. Serendipity is key to the Archive experience.

In addition to hosting visits and public events, the Archive serves a global community through social media, state-of-the-art photography, and publications. We offer courses and workshops in type design, calligraphy, and typography, some in conjunction with The Cooper Union. We also curate exhibitions of our holdings, organize lectures by visiting artists and designers, and host brunches, dinners, and receptions to showcase new acquisitions or celebrate out-of-town guests.

Learning Outcomes

Possible projects for the winter intern may include some combination of the following:

Learn about collection management projects under the direction of the Librarian by participating in the following activities:

  • collections shifts
  • minor repair, housing, sleeving of collections
  • labeling of collections (as needed by ongoing projects)

Learn about editorial and web content management under the direction of the Editorial Director by participating in the following activities:

Learn about publishing and production by assisting Publishing staff with projects and research on Archive publications.

Learn about guest services and public outreach programming by shadowing visits alongside Archive staff.

In addition to set internship projects, the intern will be relied upon to pitch in as needed.

Physical Requirements

The intern will frequently be required to sit and perform desk-based computer tasks and file or sort paperwork.

She/he may less frequently be required to lift or move items weighing up to 25 pounds; push and maneuver a fully-loaded book truck weighing up to 60 pounds; and stand, climb, balance, stretch, twist, kneel, stoop, bend, or crouch.

The Archive will provide reasonable accommodation to any intern with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the internship.

Ideal Qualifications

  • Passion for or expertise in an area of specialization appropriate to our collections (e.g., graphic design, book arts, book history, etc.)
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Superlative organizational and time management skills
  • Meticulous detail orientation; focus on accuracy
  • Tech-savvy; proficient with G Suite, macOS, basic HTML, photo editing

Ideal Characteristics

  • Curious and eager to learn
  • Team player with a friendly and welcoming demeanor and a customer service orientation
  • Flexibility and comfort in a rapidly changing environment
  • Willing to tackle a variety of projects, including new challenges
  • Able to work independently, prioritize, and multi-task when needed
  • Able to remain positive, patient, and calm regardless of circumstances
  • Able to see projects from inception to completion against short turnaround times
  • Uses discretion when handling sensitive and confidential information
  • We value candidates whose skills and experience have prepared them to understand and uphold our core values of excellence, nimbleness, collaboration, humility, hospitality, design sensitivity, and community.

Letterform Archive is an equal opportunity workplace, community, and place of learning. The Archive does not discriminate in employment, educational services, and programs on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic-related), family and medical care leave, pregnancy disability leave, veteran status, or disability, or on other bases prohibited by law.


This is not an employee position. The primary goal is to provide the intern with a unique educational opportunity and practical experience in the library, archival, and museum field.

While this internship is unpaid, the Archive will provide a monthly stipend during the internship to help assist the intern with travel or living expenses.

How to Apply

Please submit a CV and letter explaining your interest in this internship to by December 1. The internship is expected to run from January through March with flexibility around the start date and duration. A commitment of 16–24 hours per week is expected.

Learn more about what it’s like to be a Letterform Archive intern from this reflection by summer intern Florence Fu.