University of Chicago Library – Mary & Samuel Somit Preservation Internship – Summer 2023

Position Title

Mary & Samuel Somit Preservation Internship – Summer 2023

The University of Chicago Library

The University of Chicago Library is accepting applications for the 2023 Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship. This Internship, established in 2006, has been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Albert Somit (AB ’41, PhD ’47), University of Chicago alumnus and past president of Southern Illinois University. Dr. Somit has established the Internship to honor his parents’ legacy, serve the needs of the Library’s collection, and prepare individuals for important work to preserve library materials and other scholarly resources in all formats so they remain available long-term for research and teaching.

Summer Internship 2023

The six-week paid Internship is intended to provide firsthand experience and a broader understanding of a Library-wide program for the care and treatment of collections in an academic setting. The Preservation Department, established in 1985, consists of three units: Binding & Shelf Preparation, Conservation, and Digitization.  The intern will work with the Preservation Librarian and Department managers to learn about the services, operations, issues, and challenges of preservation programs. Under the guidance of professional library staff, the intern will undertake a project and prepare a final report.  During the internship, the intern will have the opportunity to give a presentation about the project and its findings.

Mapping Chicagoland

For the 2023 Internship, the Intern will focus on copyright issues with the NEH funded Mapping Chicagoland project.  In this project, the University of Chicago Library, working collaboratively with the Chicago History Museum and the Newberry Library will digitize, catalog, geo-reference, and make available online, over 5,000 sheet maps and atlases of Chicago and the neighborhoods.  Maps range from the earliest cartographic representations of Chicago prior to its incorporation through its rapid expansion in the early 20th century. Bringing together the different time periods, scales, and themes represented across the institutions’ maps will allow study of a broad range of themes through time.  Georeferenced images will save researchers the work of identifying the same area of study across thousands of maps, providing a ready-to-use personal digital collection for their research and teaching. Copyright analysis will enable open access for the largest number of maps in the collection.  Under the direction of the Preservation Librarian, the Intern will develop a plan and implement a workflow to address copyright status.

Activities during the internship may include:

  • Researching federal, state, and local government copyright laws in the United States
  • Developing a set of guidelines based on copyright code that can be applied to the map collections
  • Identifying any privacy or ethical issues that should be taken into consideration
  • Determining copyright status and a risk analysis for selected groups of maps based on available information
  • As time permits, researching copyright issues for other Library digital projects, proposed or underway.

The Intern will have the opportunity to collaborate across the Library with staff from Preservation, the Center for Digital Scholarship, Metadata Management Services, and the Map Collection to gain a broader understanding of how digital projects are integrated into existing library workflows in support of building and providing access to our digital collections.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Internship is open to recent graduates and currently enrolled students of a recognized library school of information or related program; or students with equivalent experience and training in preservation, digital collections, metadata, and archives and special collections. The applicant should possess the ability to work collaboratively and independently to accomplish project goals. Familiarity with map collections or copyright issues in libraries are highly desirable.

 How to Apply

To apply for the Internship, individuals should electronically submit a letter of application, resume, list of completed relevant coursework or training, and contact information (name and email address) for two professional references. To be considered, individuals must currently be authorized to work permanently in the U.S. and be able to commit to six consecutive weeks of full-time work between approximately June 1st and August 31st. This is a paid internship in the amount of a $5,000 stipend.

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 27th, 2023

Submit electronic applications to:

For more information, please see our Somit Preservation Internship website ( or contact:

Sherry Byrne, Preservation Librarian

University of Chicago Library

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.


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