31 October 2014

OPPORTUNITY – 2015 archival internships

The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive committed to documenting and raising awareness of past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy in South Africa.

SAHA invites recent graduates with a keen interest in learning more about how archives can forward struggles for justice and accountability in South Africa to apply for a 6- to 12-month archival internship starting in January 2015.

The SAHA internship programme has been developed to provide recent graduates with little or no full-time work experience with the opportunity to learn more about what it means to work in the NGO sector in South Africa, to apply their skills and knowledge practically in the work place, to test where their strengths and weaknesses lie, to clarify their work goals and build their CV and work profile.

Learn what previous interns have said about their time at SAHA

The archival internships at SAHA provide a unique learning opportunity within a well-established and respected activist archive.  In the course of the internship, interns will support the work of the archival team at SAHA by learning about:

  • Accessioning, processing and maintaining physical and digital archival materials according to archival standards;
  • Updating and standardizing metadata relating to SAHA collections;
  • Assisting in the implementation of various special projects, including digitisation, publication development, and exhibition preparation, as required.

The 2015 archival internship will be focussed on a special project relating to SAHA’s incredible collection of over 5000 struggle posters. A new edition of the poster publication Images of Defiance is envisioned in the course of next year and the intern would be expected to assist with numerous duties around the organising and preservation of the SAHA Poster collection (AL2446) in preparation of the new publication.

In order to be eligible for this opportunity, applicants must:

  • Be a South African citizen under 30 years of age;
  • Hold a qualification in information studies, history and / or heritage management (or a related qualification that you are able to motivate relates to the work of the archival programme at SAHA);
  • Be a recent graduate with no prior full-time work experience. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously benefitted from an internship opportunity within a South African NGO;
  • Be able to commit to an internship of at least six months in duration;
  • Have some experience of working with archival collections, and an understanding of the need for careful handling of archival material and artefacts;
  • Have a demonstrable interest in human rights advocacy and constitutional issues and an interest in building a career in civil society in South Africa;
  • Be able to plan, prioritize work, meet deadlines, and work independently;
  • Be systematic and thorough in their approach to work, with excellent attention to detail;
  • Be competent in Microsoft Office software;
  • Be fit and able to lift archive boxes and move loaded carts.

All SAHA internships are based at the SAHA offices at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Internships are on a full-time basis and interns will receive a modest stipend for the duration of the internship.

How to apply

To apply, please prepare a one-page letter of motivation (no more than 500 words) that addresses the following two questions:

  • What is the relationship between archives and human rights? (250 – 300 words)
  • SAHA's central mission is to recapture lost and neglected histories and to record aspects of South African history in the making. Which SAHA project do you think fulfils this mission? Please provide reasons for your answer. (150 – 200 words)

Submit this letter of motivation with your CV (no longer than 2 pages) and the contact details for at least 2 professional referees by email to nonhlanhla@saha.org.za.

The subject line of your email must include the following:  

Archival Internship application 2014/11 – [Your Name].

Closing date: 14 November 2014. Late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Proposed interview date: 27 November 2014

Proposed starting date: 12 January 2015

For more information about South African History Archive, visit www.saha.org.za.