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Digitizing Native American Languages for the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages (BoL) Internship

Jeanine Nault, Digital Imaging Technician, National Anthropological Archives, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution digitizing documents from Dorsey collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland Maryland on April 29, 2014.

Jeanine Nault, Digital Imaging Technician, National Anthropological Archives, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution digitizing documents from Dorsey collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland Maryland on April 29, 2014.

Project Description:
The National Anthropological Archives (NAA), Smithsonian Institution, is offering a paid internship
in its Digital Imaging Program during the spring of 2017. The NAA operates one of the
Smithsonian’s most well-established digitization programs, having produced more than 500,000
high-resolution images of photographs, artwork, manuscript material and sound recordings from its
collections.

This summer, the NAA will be a co-host site in the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous
Languages, one of Recovering Voices’ language revitalization priorities, working in conjunction with
the Myaamia Center at Miami University, the National Museum of the American Indian and the
Library of Congress. Breath of Life provides training to researchers from Native North American
communities in linguistics and archival research for language revitalization. The Institute involves
learning from archival sources, with the NAA’s collection of language manuscripts documenting
hundreds of Native American languages being utilized. The NAA digital imaging lab will be
digitizing pages of endangered language materials from the Archives’ extensive holdings for
inclusion in the programming and education of the participants. Many of these manuscripts present
a complexity of imaging issues due to their fragility and nature of the handwritten word.

The digitization intern will work under the supervision of the NAA’s Digital Imaging Specialist, to
address these issues of imaging, while gaining hands-on experience in the technical aspects of
digital image creation (overhead digital camera capture) while learning about imaging standards,
image data, its preservation and storage, technical and embedded metadata, digital asset
management, and project management. Specific tasks include: digital camera capture; image
processing; metadata creation; creation of multi-page PDFs; and digital asset management.

Qualifications:
Graduate students or recent graduates within 6 months of their graduation date in archives,
libraries, museum studies, or photography programs who are interested in digital technologies as
applied to archival care and management of historical collections.

Learning Objectives:

The NAA digital imaging lab will be digitizing pages of endangered language materials from the Archives’ extensive holdings. Many of these manuscripts present a complexity of imaging issues due to their fragility and nature of the handwritten word.

The digitization intern will work to address these issues of imaging, while gaining hands-on experience in the technical aspects of digital image creation (overhead digital camera capture) while learning about imaging standards, image data, its preservation and storage, technical and embedded metadata, digital asset management, and project management. Specific tasks include: digital camera capture; image processing; metadata creation; creation of multi-page PDFs; and digital asset management.

Application Deadline: November 25, 2016

Stipend: $2700.00

Start date: January 30, 2017

Project Timeline and Location:
The internship is located at the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Museum Support Center (MSC), 4210 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD 20746. The internship is
planned for 16 weeks, 2-3 days a week. Start and end date are flexible based on intern’s
schedule and availability.

Please submit a cover letter describing your qualifications and
interest, résumé, and contact information for three references to Jeanine Nault at naultj@si.edu