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Volunteer Internship Program

The European Division offers at all times of the year a limited number of volunteer internships through which individuals may work with collections relating to European studies. Although these internships carry no stipend, many persons have found them useful in planning a career, or in obtaining the experience necessary to enter an academic, or other, profession. Interns who are students may arrange with their institutions to obtain academic credit.

Volunteer internships are limited to US citizens; a green card will not suffice. One exception: it is possible for foreign students who complete a university degree in a US institution to volunteer for part or all of the year immediately following the completion of the US degree. Additionally, it is possible for a professional librarian in a foreign country to work (in an unpaid position) at the Library of Congress not as an intern but on a professional exchange.

The European Division's Volunteer Internship Program seeks to provide:

  •  educational experience or career training in European studies, library science, or related areas;
  •  an opportunity to build networks with current and future generations of professionals;
  •  in-depth exposure to the Library's collections and resources; and
  •  activities that produce concrete results to benefit both the intern and the European Division.

Interns typically work on producing finding aids and updating the Division's web portals, but may also be involved in reference, processing, special projects, and events. See the European Reading Room home page for examples of finding aids (i.e. "Online and Print Publications," "European Telephone Directories").

The period of internship may range from just six weeks to more than a year (minimum 200 hours). Part-time arrangements are possible, although a commitment of at least two full days a week is preferred. Interested applicants should have:

  •  an interest in one or more of the countries covered by the European Division, that is, continental Europe except for Spain, Portugal, and Turkey;
  •  a reading knowledge of a continental European language (other than Spanish, Portuguese, or Turkish);
  •  an interest in working in a library;
  •  the ability to commit to the 200-hour minimum.

Some prior experience in a library setting is preferred.

We accept applications throughout the year. To apply, please send via email a resume and cover letter to Grant Harris, Head, European Reading Room ( (Security measures at the Library may delay communications by standard mail or courier service.) Please include in your application a phone number where you can be reached and an indication of when you would like to schedule your internship.

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  December 22, 2011
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