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Caroline Dwight Bain Archival Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston)

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) in Boston, Mass. is now accepting applications for the Caroline Dwight Bain Archival Fellowship. The Bain fellowship provides a stipend of $4000 for 210 hours of work in the summer of 2024.

The MHS is an independent, scholarly research library founded in 1791 for the threefold purpose of collecting, preserving, and disseminating sources for the study of American history. The MHS holds more than 3,700 manuscript collections dating from the 17th century to the present, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.

The Caroline Dwight Bain Archival Fellowship provides a current student or recent graduate of an archival training program with an immersive learning and work experience at one of the nation’s most important research libraries. The fellowship recipient’s work will focus primarily on one of the following areas of concentration:

• Arrangement and description of manuscript collection(s)
• Arrangement and description of photograph collection(s)
• Digitization and metadata project(s)
• Hands-on conservation and preservation management

Reporting Relationship:
The fellowship recipient will report to a member of the Collections Services department responsible for the area of concentration.

The fellowship recipient may choose a full-time schedule of six weeks (210 hours) or a part-time equivalent in the summer of 2024. All work must take place at the Society’s building at 1154 Boylston St., Boston during regular business hours (Monday–Friday).

The responsibilities of the fellowship will differ based on the selected area of concentration, but most projects will include work with original archival (manuscript or photographic) materials. Specific duties may include:

• Arrangement and description of manuscript or photographic collections
• Basic preservation and rehousing of manuscript or photographic collections
• Writing and encoding of finding aid(s) using Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
• Preparation of collections for offsite storage
• Digital imaging of manuscripts and/or photographs
• Creation of metadata and management of digital assets
• Preservation management
• Hands-on cleaning and repair of manuscripts

Compensation and Benefits:
$4000 stipend. Please note that the fellowship recipient is not a member of the MHS staff and therefore not eligible for benefits. By receiving a stipend, the fellowship recipient will be considered a contractor for tax purposes and will be responsible for reporting and paying his or her taxes on the stipend amount.

Other Requirements:
MHS requires proof of a vaccination and up-to-date boosters for COVID-19. As part of its offer process, the MHS will conduct a reference and criminal background check for any finalist. The MHS is not able to sponsor visas.

Equal Opportunity Statement:
The Massachusetts Historical Society aims to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We are committed to creating a workplace free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or
ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law (also known as membership in a "protected class").  Candidates in need of accommodation in the application process should reach out to our human
resources department with inquiries by emailing


• Enrollment in, or recent completion (two years or less) of, an MLS program at an ALA-accredited program in library science, with a concentration or significant coursework in archives management, preservation, or related field
• Internship(s) or other hands-on experience with archival collections strongly preferred
• Ability to lift up to 50 lbs. and to transport materials onto and off of carts and shelves
• Ability to read cursive handwriting
• Superb attention to detail
• Ability to work independently and in a team environment
• Ability to learn software and technology efficiently and adeptly

Full/Part Time





$4,000.00  / Stipend

Salary Notes

Compensation and Benefits: $4000 stipend, payable to fellow on a W-9/1099 basis.

Closing Date


How to Apply

Application procedure:

Please send by email a single PDF that includes a cover letter indicating the applicant’s chosen area of concentration, résumé, and two written recommendations to Please include a writing sample such as example(s) of—or link(s) to—completed finding aid(s) or student papers.

Priority will be given to applicants who apply by March 31, 2024. The fellowship is available in May or June of 2024.


2024-03-04 |  Quick link to this job