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Archives Internship, Imperial Valley Desert Museum, Ocotillo CA

Summary: The Imperial Valley Desert Museum is seeking an outgoing archive intern to implement the establishment of a new archive. This is a great opportunity for an enthusiastic entry-level professional with a deep interest in professional development, life-long learning, and a desire to establish archives as agents of identity.


Location: The Imperial Valley Desert Museum is a new museum located in Ocotillo, California, in the Yuha Desert, at the very edge of the Sonoran Desert, in Imperial County. The museum is 90 miles east of San Diego, California, and 90 miles west of Yuma, Arizona and 6 miles from the border. The small town of Ocotillo is isolated, but is a region of many desert recreational opportunities and lies at the southern boundary of the Anza-Borrego State Park. Personal Vehicle is suggested. It is impossible to get between Ocotillo and El Centro without a car, where services and amenities are located.


Compensation: This position is an unpaid internship. Interns will work 40 hours per week and receive $200/week, paid monthly, for food and incidentals. The Museum will provide on-site shared housing.


Position Description: The intern will implement the archives project plan as written; review and revise the project plan alongside the Curator; enter existing catalog information into PastPerfect database; recruit and train archive volunteers; cooperate and collaborate with other programming staff in the planning and implementation of exhibition, programming, and facility-related activities. This is an excellent environment to gain practical experience your areas of interest.


About the IVDM: The Imperial Valley Desert Museum Society has worked for 20 years to fundraise a new building to store the archeological collections of a local college. In 2008, the Society took over legal stewardship of the collections and has been working to re-house the collections from temporary storage into the new building, develop exhibits and open the new museum. The majority of the artifacts are from the Imperial Valley and we are working to ensure that the cultural artifacts of the Valley stay in the Valley to benefit the community. The largest challenge of re-housing the collections is reuniting the artifacts with their records. The collection has been in temporary storage for over 20 years and the documents were not treated as part of an archive collection.


Training Provided: Interns will receive training in a wide range of archives management skills, including developing logic systems; assessing the collection contents; performing preservation actions as needed; creating inventories and electronic finding aids in PastPerfect5; re-housing materials and preparing any chosen items for digitization.


Qualifications: Applicants with knowledge and skills in archives management and museum registry are strongly encouraged to apply. Most importantly, candidates should have demonstrated interest in pursuing a career within the scope of this internship. Applicants must be passionate and interested in historic preservation. The intern must be willing to represent the Museum in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.


Required Skills:


• Ability to take initiative and work with minimal supervision

• Internship is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only

• Ability to work indoors utilizing various software programs

• Proficiency in Excel and Access databases

• Attention to detail and understanding of logic

• Ability to work outdoors and perform physical labor outdoors in extreme summer temperatures (80-120 degrees F)

• Ability and willingness to undergo a criminal background check is required

Desired Skills:


• Previous Archives processing and/or survey experience

• 4WD experience; or interest in 4WD experiences and hiking

• Interest in Archives as Identity

Application process: Applicants must submit a resume and brief cover letter to Imperial Valley Desert Museum, PO Box 430, Ocotillo, CA 92259, preferably by attachment to [email protected], with “Archives Intern Program” in the subject line. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

POSITION Imperial Valley Desert Museum Internship

TYPE Internship Opportunity


DETAILS $200 per week + housing + travel