The Historic Sites Unit will have intern opportunities for 2016.  The Division of Historic Preservation is committed to providing learning opportunities and career-enhancing experiences to college and graduate students. Whether greeting the public on the front lines or working behind the scenes, interns take an active role in executing the mission of historic preservation. Working with professional staff as part of a skilled team, interns participate in significant projects as well as day-to-day operations as they become familiar with the various historic sites. References and contacts gained through work as an intern can be helpful in securing future employment and admission to further programs of study. These internships are unpaid at this time. Students and recent graduates in history, museum studies, library science or education are highly encouraged to apply.


The internship program is open to qualified college students, recent graduates or graduate students. Interns from all majors and interests are encouraged to apply.  Interviews will be conducted for all positions.

Academic Credit

The Historic Preservation Division will work with students to provide educational opportunities that meet college requirements.  We encourage interns to seek academic credit for their internship and will assist in any way to help the intern receive it.  Check with your advisor or department chair to inquire about your school's requirements.


Internships usually take place throughout the typical academic spring, summer or fall semester. Students are required to work at least three days per week unless special arrangements are made with the supervisor and intern program coordinator.


Spring (January-May)              December 1
Summer (May-August)            April 30
Fall (September-December)     August 1

Please Note: Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis for any unfilled intern positions.  Some internships fall outside the scope of the typical academic calendar and are considered Special Projects. These are not subject to the deadlines listed above and may be for a shorter or longer duration than one academic semester.


Sites of Interest

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site

Internship opportunities at Lincoln's New Salem SHS are within three primary areas of the operation of the site.


Historic Interpretation
Historic interpreters wear period clothing in our reconstructed village and interact with visitors from all over the world. Interpreters are educated on the history and significance of the site and trained on how to engage with visitors. Interpreters can pursue a variety of period tasks and skills.

This function, which is the primary supportive aspect of carrying out our primary objective, is fulfilled mostly by volunteers and is ongoing throughout the year. In order to comply with labor standards, interns will be expected to complete some sort of project above the work of the volunteer staff such as the development of a demonstration or program for the public, training aids, public education projects, etc. The experience can be tailored to specific needs of the student’s major or educational institution.
Visitor Center Services
The Visitor Center Desk is the first impression for many of our visitors. Visitor Center staff greet and orient visitors and groups to the site, operate the orientation film, answer phones and provide general information about other sites and local amenities. Service at the Visitor Center does not require wearing period clothing.

This function of the site is also fulfilled by volunteers. Again, interns will be expected to complete a project oriented to their major or other specifications set by the student’s educational institution. Examples could include marketing projects, visitor surveys and other analytical projects. 
Support Services
There are also several “behind the scenes” opportunities to serve at the site. Support services include mending and making period clothing, cleaning and assisting in care of historic buildings and collection, general cleanup, light trail maintenance and limited clerical work. Interns will have opportunities to work with the site’s collection through inventory and cleaning and special research, recreational management, etc. 
A wide variety of opportunities are available to students in a range of majors beside history. Training and other materials are provided, including period clothing. On-site housing may also be available, most likely during the summer months.
Lincoln Log Cabin
Horticultural/Environmental Internship
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, Lerna, IL
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is looking for an energetic and dynamic individual to lead horticultural programs and help develop an environmental education curriculum for the site. The historic landscape intern will participate in daily work ranging from planting, harvesting, and garden maintenance to providing interpretation in our historic gardens, leading our heirloom/organic gardening program, and working with the site staff and volunteers in the historic gardens and natural areas.
The intern will also periodically guide groups on nature hikes through the grounds of Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site including the native prairie and woodlands and conduct programming to reinforce specific concepts with an emphasis on interactive and creative hands-on activities that brings the local community and underserved constituents closer to nature. The intern will also assist with existing Public Program events throughout the summer season.
This is a great opportunity to build work experience performing various duties required to maintain public garden and historic landscapes. Interns will be scheduled to work a 37.50 hour week and will be provided housing on-site during their internship.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to weeding, mulching, fertilizing, pruning, dividing plants, propagation, planting, watering, volunteer management, plant documentation, conducting public programming and other duties as assigned and necessary for the operation of a public gardens and natural areas.
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Division, is located 8 miles south of Charleston, IL. It is a part of the Abraham Lincoln National heritage Area and preserves the 1840s farm home of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, parents of Abraham Lincoln.
Springfield State Historic Sites
The HistoryCorps team is responsible for saving and sharing the history of six different and uniquely important places that have been designated as significant by the State of Illinois. Located within a 2-mile radius from the heart of the capital city, our monuments and museums are managed by a team of dedicated and innovative public servants who are proud to serve as employees of the Illinois Historic Preservation Division. These staff members, along with our volunteers and stakeholders—including our interns—make up HistoryCorps.
The mission of the Illinois Historic Preservation Division is to collect, preserve, interpret and communicate the diverse heritage of Illinois. The Lincoln Tomb, Old State Capitol, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Dana-Thomas House, War Memorials and Vachel Lindsay Home are six of the historic sites and museums, which the division was created to preserve and share with the people of Illinois and our guests.
We pursue our mission through three HistoryCorps values: History, Hospitality and Help.
History—This is the core of what we do: Save and Share History. We invest time to continuously think about and implement ideas in history and preservation. There is a technical side of this value in the way we understand, utilize and communicate ideas in history and preservation. Our ability to present accurate information in an objective and engaging way is another technical component of our work.
Hospitality—Creating a friendly and generous environment for our stakeholders and guests is often the most noticeable part of what we do. Foundation words for this value include respect and responsibility. We must invest energetically and enthusiastically in our guests in order to learn more about them and why they are visiting our historic sites and museums. An understanding of non-verbal communication is essential to delivering great hospitality, and this must be supported by constructive and positive dialogue.
Help—This is “extra dimension” is very different than the first two values. In a way, “Help” is an extra dose of hospitality focused on the way we conclude our service to stakeholders and guests. One may suggest that we find many individuals visiting our sites and museums when they are Hungry, Angry, Tired, Sad or, perhaps worst of all, Lost. Our aim is that our team members leave people in better shape than they were in when we found them by providing Help. Also, Help relates to teamwork. Being great at history is important. Being great at hospitality is important. But the extra dimension of Help may often be most important in our values because it most closely touches on the very point of our public service to others. Lastly, Help connects to our role in the community and the outreach that is necessary to truly share history.
We enjoy creating rewarding and challenging opportunities for college students, which include volunteer assignments and internships.
Areas of Study: We are open to discussing internship opportunities with potential candidates from a wide variety disciplines. Our sites are multi-faceted and aim to leverage individual strengths and develop new skills. Opportunities are based on projects, which may include educational research, garden and grounds maintenance, program or special event development and implementation, and outreach.
Mentoring: Our internships are based on a mentoring relationship between our staff members and interns.
Flexibility: We work with interns to create a flexible schedule that is mutually beneficial to both the sites and the intern.
Bryant Cottage
Bement, IL
Site on the National Register.  Would work closely with the Site Superintendent to highlight features of the home that qualify the property for recommendation to the Register.
David Davis Mansion
Interns at the David Davis Mansion are involved in all aspects of the museum profession. Each program is designed to fit the needs of the site and intern, assuring an interesting learning experience that also meets staff needs. 
Responsibilities can include:    
* Education programs designed for specific age groups    
* Interpretation of the site on daily tours.    
* Administration of the historic site and assistance to the staff.    
* Computer assistance and formatting    
* Historical research (3.5 gpa)    
* Special event planning, programming and participation    
* Marketing and development    
* Assistance to curator of collections and archives    
* Research on furnishings and family letters
Cahokia Mounds
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers an internship for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at a university/college in a credit course, whether it be museum studies, anthropology, history, communications, or some related field. One internship per term may be offered for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.  The internship is granted following interviews with all applicants.  Interns learn about and assist with the basic daily operations of a museum and have a specific project, such as producing a temporary exhibit or conducting a research project, and they write an article for the Cahokian, the quarterly magazine published by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS).  The internship program is funded by an endowment through the CMMS, and interns are provided a small stipend. No housing arrangements are available.
IHPA Administrative Intern
Working out of the Central Office, this position would be involved in projects relating to records retention, inventory analysis, and curatorial protocol for the artifacts housed at our State Historic Sites.  Candidates ideally would possess some previous experience working in a similar capacity and current field of study would be relatable to the aforementioned areas of focus.


Mail or email to:
Ryan Prehn
Historic Sites Director
Historic Preservation Agency
313 South Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Click here for the Intern Application Form.