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Unpaid Internships in the Field

by John Dichtl, President & CEO on

In recent days, several people have newly expressed concerns about the presence of unpaid internships in the history field and about the inclusion of these internship opportunities in the AASLH Career Center.

AASLH recognizes the challenges facing individuals embarking on a career in history and that unpaid internships can impede diversity, inclusiveness, and equity and close off pathways into the field. We also understand that internships, which are meant to be educational and provide training, are to varying degrees shaped to fit an institution’s labor needs. And history institutions themselves range greatly in size, access to resources, and therefore their ability to offer paid internships. Indeed, the American Alliance of Museums brought together museum professionals last year to frame the complex issues surrounding internships. AASLH is in the process of developing a clearer, stronger policy regarding our approach to internship listings in the AASLH Career Center.

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