Yale Peabody Museum Summer Internships

North American Ethnographic Collections Management:

Creating and Enhancing Documentation and Photography

Advisor: Jessie Cohen (Repatriation Compliance Coordinator, YPM Division of Anthropology)


Length: 8 weeks in the summer


Project Description:

Within a museum environment, ethnographic collections can serve as a primary resource for teaching, learning, and research. Behind-the-scenes object-based research and data gathering seek to enhance and expand upon the knowledge associated with each artifact, and the ability to properly exhibit, house, and learn from artifactual collections is dependent upon a thorough understanding of each object. Amassing this understanding can encompass any number of practices ranging from deepening our contextual knowledge of an object to photographing and recording its physical attributes.


Within its vast assemblage of archaeological and ethnographic materials from around the world, the Division of Anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History houses cultural artifacts from regions across North America. Much of these North American ethnographic objects are Native American in origin and were collected in the 19th and 20th centuries.


The Division of Anthropology seeks to expand upon previously recorded and archived information associated with our Native American ethnographic materials from the California and Southeast regions (as time permits). The goal of this hands-on project is to update digital catalog records and conduct initial research. Each object will require being measured, a thorough analysis of the types of materials of which it is comprised, reporting on its overall condition and stability, photography, and initial research to support or refute any previously associated provenance/provenience context. Based on this gathered information, this project may also seek to rehouse artifacts whenever possible according to museum best practices. Instruction will be provided regarding object handling, best practices according to ethnographic objects and materials, basic object-specific photography, and museum cataloging.


Stipend: $3000


CLICK HERE to apply!