Internships at Mystic Seaport Museum

Reimagining New England History 

Summer Internship at the Mystic Seaport Museum

Applications open November 15 – February 15. Apply here!

Central Internship Information

Through the Reimagining New England Histories Project, The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Williams College are using maritime history as a basis for studying the relationship between European colonization, dispossession of Native American land, and racial slavery.  Interns have the unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at MSM and other institutions who are partners on the Mellon grant.  Discussion seminars, staff partnerships, and hands-on projects in collaboration with museum experts introduce interns to the work of telling the story of New England maritime history more inclusively. Interns work at the Mystic Seaport Museum and partner institutions on projects related to the topic of the Mellon grant. Interns are engaged with the programming five days per week and have two days off each week. This is a full-time internship that pays a stipend with free onsite housing. See examples of past intern’s work below.  Applications open November 2022.

Strengthening Relationships with Partner Institutions

Summer 2023 will provide opportunities to gain experience and contribute restorative work for a partner institution 1-2 days/week as a part of this internship. Last summer, the 2022 RNEH Interns created a comprehensive collections inventory of the belongings at the Tomaquag Museum. The process included the handling of cultural belongings, records management, policy implementation, and accessioning/deaccessioning procedures. Interns additionally identified and corrected inconsistencies in the original collection numbers. Belongings included: Lithics, Beadwork, Regalia, etc.

Designing Inclusive Experiences

To Brava and Back is an interactive, mindfully gamified visitor program designed by RNEH Interns. The experience invites guests to navigate the life of a mariner of color. Through Captain John Teofilo Gosalves’ story, visitors can learn not only about his life and his experiences, but the cultural influences of his Cape Verdean culture.  Interns researched the whaler and his culture, collaborated with living family members of the whaler to gain oral histories, and revised the program with feedback through rounds of test audiences at the end of the summer. The program launched through the Mystic Seaport Education department in September 2022. 

Highlighting Diverse Narratives

Interns collaborated with Mellon partner institutions, researched diverse maritime narratives guided by experts in the field, and collaborated with exhibits teams to bring underrepresented stories to the grounds of the Mystic Seaport Museum.  Living history gardens were planned with external partners to highlight BIPOC medicinal practices in an African Garden, and indigenous traditions through a Three Sisters Garden.  Museum panels and talks were crafted highlighting local indigenous boat building practices, as well as black oystering traditions featuring the life and story of Thomas Downing, the Black New Yorker who built his fortune as the Oyster King.


 Applications open November 15 – February 15. Apply here!

RNEH Internship Summer 2023

Monday June 5 – Friday August 11, 2023

The summer internship program at Mystic Seaport Museum is for graduate and undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in public humanities, anthropology, Native American, African, or African American Studies, Queer Studies, museum education or other museum studies, maritime studies, or other related fields.  The summer internship program is funded by the Mellon Foundation and centers on the theme Reimagining New England Histories: Historical Injustice, Sovereignty and Freedom. This project will explore and reinterpret histories of New England to students, scholars, and a national public, challenging prevailing narratives about the region as founded on principles of liberty and justice for all.

*This is a full-time internship that pays a stipend of $5,000 for ten weeks with free onsite housing.

Mystic Seaport Museum is committed to growing and recruiting a diverse workforce that represents the world around us and allows them to better serve our visitors, staff and volunteers. In keeping with this commitment, Mystic Seaport Museum is pleased to partner with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to offer unique opportunities such as this one for students of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, including but not limited to those who self-identify as a member of one or more of the following groups: Hispanic or Latino; Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; Two or More Races; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or other LGBTQ+ identification; Disabled Veteran, Recently Separated Veteran (last three years), Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veteran, Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran (within the meaning of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended); or an Individual with a Disability (within the meaning of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended).