The History Center, Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village offer a variety of full-time and part-time employment opportunities, as well as seasonal internships. The History Center also has numerous volunteer opportunities.

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Employment Opportunities

It is the policy of the History Center to practice equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, age, religious creed, national origin, sex, non-job related mental and/or physically challenged, or status as a Vietnam Era or Disabled Veteran, except in those instances where a bona fide occupational qualification exists. Further, the History Center will make reasonable accommodations with respect to non-job related disabilities or disabilities for otherwise qualified applicants. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

Internships

History Center Internships

The Senator John Heinz History Center, Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village are great places to learn about numerous professions in a host of fields. These are unpaid internships available for credit or not for credit. Minorities encouraged to apply. If you are interested in applying for a History Center internship, please click here to fill out an online application form. Additionally, please send a resume and cover letter to cehopper@heinzhistorycenter.org.

We are no longer accepting applications for internships in the summer 2024 term.

We are currently accepting applications for the fall 2024 term; the application deadline is July 1st, 2024.

Departments & Divisions

Overview

The Senator John Heinz History Center, a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, is currently seeking creative, motivated, and enthusiastic applicants for its Summer 2023 internship in the museum’s Marketing & Communications Department. This social-media focused internship is ideal for a communications major who is eager to contribute their talents to the History Center’s fast-growing social media platforms. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a dynamic team of communications professionals who create content and implement marketing initiatives for the History Center and its museum system, which includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, and the Fort Pitt Museum.

Description of duties

The intern will work closely with the Marketing & Communications Department to promote exhibits, public programs, and educational content on social media and digital channels. The right candidate will be a keen brainstormer and forward-thinker who is in-tune with social trends and familiar with in-app creator tools across social platforms. From conceptualization to production to publication, the intern will partner with the Digital Marketing Manager to create entertaining and educational content for the History Center’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. Duties and learning opportunities include: content creation for social media, the website, and email marketing campaigns; digital market research; social media strategy; proactive idea development; social media analytics; media relations and monitoring; copyediting and professional writing.

Qualifications

Qualified intern applicants should be in their sophomore, junior, or senior years and pursuing a degree in communications, marketing, or a related field. Specific interest in history, social media, or Pittsburgh and prior internship experience is a plus.

The Education Department develops and implements a range of tours and programs for students, teachers, homeschoolers, early learners, and Scout groups. The department also manages the annual National History Day regional competition, creates curriculum resources, trains docents, and works with the Museum Division to create interpretive activities and materials for the galleries. Interns will be assigned projects related to curriculum development, designing interpretive resources for tours and education programs, supporting the work of National History Day, developing activities for programs, or other projects depending upon student interest and current departmental needs. Intern roles are largely behind the scenes, with occasional opportunities for working directly with the public (which requires additional security clearances).

The Library & Archives at the History Center preserves primary and secondary research materials that document life in Western Pennsylvania. Interns may assist with processing collections, preservation management, and research. Information Science students, with a concentration in library or archival studies, are preferred. The Library and Archives staff will work with the intern to tailor an experience that will help meet their professional goals.

The Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives collects, preserves, and disseminates information about Jewish history in Western Pennsylvania. The program works closely with a diverse group of researchers and partners with organizations in the Jewish community and beyond. Interns may be asked to assist with processing collections, responding to reference requests, conducting research and planning public programs. Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives staff will work with the intern to tailor an experience that will help meet their professional goals.

The Museum Division is responsible for researching, developing, installing, and maintaining all exhibits in the History Center. The division manages and documents regional history by collecting, cataloguing, researching, interpreting, displaying, and conserving and preserving, the History Center’s artifact collections. Interns may choose to work in curatorial, collections, or exhibits functions depending upon student skills, interest and current departmental needs.

Museum Internship (Curatorial)

Interns in the curatorial department do task related research on artifact collections or conduct research on selected history topics or artifact lender sources for upcoming exhibits. They must have some background in American history, American art, public history, or museum studies. Interns must be able to work independently and as part of a team. Experience doing research in primary source materials and strong writing skills a plus.

Museum Internship (Collections)

Interns in the Collections/Registration department will work with objects – inventorying the collection, cataloging, cleaning, working in storage, scanning or photographing, and researching artifacts. An understanding of material culture and artifact handling and familiarity with cataloging a plus.

An intern in the Publications Division will be exposed to a wide variety of tasks, including evaluating proposed manuscripts, searching for images online and in the HC Library & Archives, editing articles, proofreading magazine drafts, and driving to the printer for press checks. Candidates should be pursuing a Master’s in History, have an appreciation for detail, be self-motivated, and possess the ability to multi-task yet not be distracted by conflicting priorities.

The Fort Pitt Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Fort Pitt and Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, Lord Dunmore’s War, the American Revolutionary War, and the Ohio Country Indian wars of the 1790’s.  The museum comprises two floors of exhibit space, an active education program, and a living history program depicting both military and civilian life on the frontier.  The museum’s permanent exhibits are continually being improved, and temporary exhibits are periodically developed.  Interns may choose to work in research or exhibit fabrication, depending upon student skills, interest and current departmental needs.  The education department oversees both regular group visitation and scouting programs.  Interns will be assigned projects related to historical research, curriculum development, docent training, or special events depending upon student interest and current departmental needs. Interns may choose visible roles (front of house tour guiding) or behind the scenes roles.  Living history demonstrations take place in Point State Park and range from campfire cooking to firing of a replica cannon.  Interns to this department will be assigned projects related to historical research, program development, performing costumed interpretation, or special events depending upon student interest and current departmental needs.  Interns may choose visible roles or behind the scenes roles.

Meadowcroft is a 275-acre outdoor museum in Avella, Pa. that tells the story of 19,000 years of a human presence in Western Pennsylvania.  The Meadowcroft Rockshelter is a National Historic Landmark and world renowned archaeological site that has provided the earliest evidence of people in North America.  In addition to ancient history, the museum includes a recreated 16th century Eastern Woodland Indian Village; an 18th century frontier trading post & Indian cabin; and a 19th century rural village.  Interns may choose to work in research, collections management, or in educational programs depending upon student skills, interest and current departmental needs.

The African American Collection is an initiative of the African American Program (AAP) and comprises over 300 Library & Archives sources that are primary to the understanding of historical experiences of African Americans in Western Pennsylvania. In addition, artifacts and material culture are housed in the museum of the History Center and make up the basis of the exhibition and preservation of local material history. These collections provide students, researchers, scholars, media professionals, writers, and others with a primary source of information about African Americans in Western Pennsylvania. Books, theses, dissertations, documentaries, and other forms of academic, educational, and cultural products have been derived from the AAC. Please check out the AAC webpage for a depth look. Internships provide practical and applicable skills and knowledge in historic research, collections management, and exhibit development and research.

If you are interested in applying for a History Center internship, please click here to fill out an online application form. Additionally, please send a resume and cover letter to cehopper@heinzhistorycenter.org.

If you have any questions about the History Center’s internships or the process, please contact Clair Hopper at cehopper@heinzhistorycenter.org.

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Volunteer

Volunteers play a key role in making the History Center one of the finest cultural organizations in the U.S. By donating time and talents, volunteers assist with many facets of the organization.

Volunteers with a wide range of skills and expertise are needed at the History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, and the Fort Pitt Museum.

Some of the ways to serve include:

  • Concierge: Warmly greet patrons upon arrival at the museum and throughout the building for special events and public programs.
  • Docent: Become a docent and guide visitors through a thematic exploration of the museum collection and its unique exhibits, engage in storytelling, prompt meaningful conversations, and lead interactive activities with a diverse audience, including students K-12 as well as adults. Learn more about becoming a docent.
  • Ambassador: Develop and deliver a Western Pennsylvania history presentation to the community at-large through public speaking outreach.
  • Library & Archives Volunteer: Assist librarians and archivists with a variety of inventorying tasks, digitization, reference desk assistance, and oral history transcriptions.
  • History Center Affiliate Liaison: Represent the History Center at one of our affiliated organizations, including libraries, universities, and historical societies, in a variety of capacities based upon the volunteer needs of each organization.

In appreciation of donating time and talents, volunteers receive numerous benefits:

  • Unique learning, enrichment, and networking opportunities
  • Seasonal gatherings and field trips
  • Complimentary admission to all related museums
  • Free parking, as available, at 15th and Smallman Streets
  • 20% discount at the History Center’s museum shops
  • 10% discount at the Café at the History Center

Are you interested in learning how you can help? Please fill out an online application and a History Center staff member will be in touch soon.

Apply here

For additional questions, please contact us at 412-454-6412 or volunteers@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Volunteer Log-in

Current History Center volunteers can login to their Volunteer Information Center Network (Vicnet) accounts here.

Docents

Looking for ways to stay engaged with the History Center’s mission while educating the next generation and enjoying a life-long learning experience?

Then consider becoming a History Center docent! Each docent receives special training in innovative ways to present American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection.

These trained volunteer educators lead tours for all ages throughout the History Center’s exhibitions and work directly with the History Center’s education division to receive all the training and tools necessary for success.

Docents-in-training will become certified by obtaining all necessary security clearances and successfully completing the docent training program, which includes:

  • History Center volunteer orientation
  • Docent school
  • Reading assignments focusing on History Center exhibits
  • Shadowing current docents to learn the ropes
  • Assisting with special events
  • Reflective writing assignments

Please apply online. For questions about the Docent Program, please contact us at 412-454-6412 or volunteers@heinzhistorycenter.org.

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