Visual Resources Association Foundation Internship Award

2016-2017 Information & Application Procedures

Award Description

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Internship Award provides financial support for graduate students preparing for a career in visual resources and image management. The award grants $4,000 to support a period of internship in archives, libraries, museums, visual resources collections in academic institutions, or other appropriate contexts. The recipient will receive a stipend of $3,000 for 200 hours completed at the host site. A professional development component of $1,000 supports conference attendance or attendance at the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will receive a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Who May Apply

Students currently enrolled in, or having completed within the last 12 months, a graduate program in library or information science, art history, architectural history, architecture, visual or studio art, museum studies, or other applicable field of study may apply for this award. Applicants must have completed at least 10 credits of their graduate coursework before the application deadline, or demonstrate an equivalent combination of coursework and relevant experience.

Internship Description

Only one VRAF Internship is awarded per year. Priority will be given to applicants who submit projects that support art historical research and scholarship. Although the award recipient need not hold US citizenship or be a permanent resident of the US, the recipient must select an institution in the United States to act as host for the internship.  This institution must be approved by the VRAF Internship Award Committee. VRAF and VRA are not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution, but will gladly assist with the process. An up to date list of host institutions can be found here

This Internship Award will be granted for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The intern is required to work on site at their chosen host institution for a minimum of 200 hours. The intern will choose to initiate their internship in the fall of 2016 or the winter or spring of 2017. The internship must begin within 30 days of the official beginning of the selected academic session of the participant’s home institution and be completed within one academic semester or two academic quarters. Exceptions are allowed by agreement between the selected intern and the VRAF Internship Awards Committee. In all cases, the internship must be completed within twelve months of the recipient being notified of the award. 

The intern and the internship supervisor will complete brief evaluations of the internship experience. This report must be received by the VRAF Internship Committee by March 1, 2017.

The VRAF Internship Award will provide a stipend of $3,000.00 to the intern. Half of the award will be granted prior to the internship, with the remainder granted upon completion of the internship and receipt of a letter to the Chair of the VRAF Internship Committee signed by the internship supervisor and the intern stating that the 200 hours have been completed. If the recipient is not a US citizen, the VRAF is required by the IRS to withhold a percentage of this award.

A professional development component of $1,000 is available to support attendance at the national VRA conference, other appropriate conferences, or the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts and documentation.  The award recipient will be formally recognized during the Awards ceremony at the VRA conference.

The recipient will receive a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Interns may have the option of receiving academic credit for the internship as part of their graduate course work but will be responsible for making those arrangements themselves.

How to Apply

To apply for the award, please submit the following:

  1. A current resume.
  2. A current transcript [this does not need to be issued directly from the institution].
  3. An essay of up to 400 words addressing the applicant’s professional goals, learning expectations of the internship experience, and any skills or background that might benefit visual resources. A brief clear description of the proposed project is required.
  4. The names of two professional or scholastic references with address, telephone numbers, and email addresses.
  5. Host institution and contact information of internship supervisor.

Application materials in electronic form are preferred and should be submitted as a single PDF file to:
Margaret Webster
Visual Resources Consultant
Phone: 607-257-3365

Host Institutions

Responsibility for institutional selection will remain with the award recipients rather than the VRAF. The Internship Award Committee is not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution but will gladly assist in the process. To help with this process, VRA’s Visual Resources Emerging Professionals and Students (VREPS) have compiled an ongoing list of institutions willing to host an intern.

Note to potential host institutions: You are invited to add your information to the VREPS Internship Award Host Sites by sending an email to Amy Lazet (alazet@COLLEGEFORCREATIVESTUDIES.EDU) with the following information: institution name, contact person, address, telephone, email, URL, and a brief description of the internship.

Deadlines for 2016 to 2017

  • 7/31/2016; Deadline for submission of applications to the VRAF Internship Award Committee.
  • 8/21/2016; VRAF Internship Award Committee announces the award recipient for 2016-2017.

The deadline for submission of evaluation forms and documents by the intern and the host institution will be within 30 days of the completion of the internship. The evaluation reports for a recipient who elects to complete the internship during the spring semester or quarter must be received by March 1, 2017. The remaining documents verifying the completion of the internship may be submitted later.

Monies from the Internship Award may not be used to cover indirect costs at institutions.

Additional Information

For additional information please contact the Committee Chair:
Margaret Webster
Visual Resources Consultant
Phone: 607-257-3365

Internship Award in Visual Resources and Image Management Recipients

Rebecca Patillo, recent recipient of a dual MA in history and MLIS from Indianapolis University, Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), to conduct work on the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Clowes Fund Collection of Old Masters, in support of a forthcoming digital publication.

Meghan McGowan, MLIS and MA history candidate, Wayne State University, to digitize and catalog photographic materials in the Research Library and Archives of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Megan writes, “The Visual Resources Foundation Internship award granted me the opportunity to work in a prestigious institution that I otherwise would not have had. Much of my experience has been rooted in manuscript collections and digitally born materials and I had not worked with photographs. For my placement, I decided to work for the Detroit Institute of Arts as I wanted to positively contribute to Detroit. Since accepting the position, I have digitized photographs that have largely consisted of exhibition images from as early as museum’s launch in the 1890s to exhibitions in the 1990s. Additionally, I have digitized photographs of notable events and artists working on their installments, including a photograph of Diego Rivera painting the mural in the DIA with Frida Kahlo at his side. Recently, I even stumbled upon photographs someone took in the 1900s and 1910s of staples of Detroit’s heritage, including Belle Isle.

This project fostered my passion for visual archival resources. Without this award, I would not have had the opportunity to spearhead this project alongside the director of the DIA’s research library. The images would have remained vaulted until she was able to gather resources to begin the digitization process and I am honored to have been entrusted by both the VRAF and Maria Ketcham at the DIA. It is incredible to be able to work with vital images and this experience has reaffirmed my desire to stay in Detroit and give back to my city through my work with archival collections and visual resources.”

Gabriella Karl-Johnson, MLIS candidate, Queens College, to work in the Digital Media Services & Image Archive at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.

Angie Yip, MLIS, Wayne State University, to work in the Visual Resources Department, College of Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan

Angie writes, "The VRAF Internship Award has provided a very rich and rewarding experience in exposing me to the visual resources area of librarianship.  It has not only allowed me to work on a collaborative project between three community partners in Detroit, but has helped to develop a mentorship relationship with my supervisor at the College for Creative Studies. She has taken the time and care in helping me understand the visual resources community and its history, as well as inviting me to a VRA chapter meeting, and ensuring I learn as much as possible about visual resources, including the opportunities to do more in-depth digital imaging, and learning about embedding images.  In such a short time, I have a greater appreciation, and stronger desire, to work in the visual resources field."

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