Open To

Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences who would be in the last year of the degree during the award year.

At this time four David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Internships are available: Advertising History Intern, Archival Processing Intern, Eleonore Jantz Curatorial Intern, and Eleonore Jantz Reference Intern.  These are nine-month internships, running from September 1 through May 31. Each provides an annual stipend (equivalent to the Graduate School-recommended Arts and Sciences nine-month stipend established each year), as well as tuition and mandatory fees. In addition, The Graduate School will pay the health insurance premium for recipients who enroll in the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan.

Established as a cooperative venture between the Duke University Libraries and the Graduate School, these internships offer hands-on experience in the acquisition of rare materials, the process of preparing them for use, and research and teaching with primary source materials. Past interns have used what they learned to develop new courses and assignments, to move into a career as an archivist or historian, and to publish original research drawn from RL collections. The Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Interns work an average of 15 hours per week, including some evening hours in the case of the Reference Intern.

After appropriate training, interns will be responsible for the following functions:

  • The Advertising History Intern will work with the Reference Archivist of the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History to provide reference assistance to patrons using advertising holdings in the Rubenstein Library. The intern will also assist with the processing of archival materials and with educational outreach programs.
  • The Processing and Cataloging Intern will arrange and describe archives, manuscripts, or printed materials for preservation and to enable access in subject areas such as the history of medicine, popular culture and science fiction, early manuscripts, Duke University History, and Southern U.S, history and culture. 
  • The Eleanore Jantz Curatorial Intern will work with the Curator of Collections on research projects, activities that support the acquisition of new materials, and outreach to promote the Rubenstein Library's Collections.
  • The Eleanore Jantz Reference Intern will work with the Rubenstein Library Research Services department to provide reference services throught remote platforms, in-person consultation, and regular reading room shifts; assist in preparing and leading instruction sessions with primary sources for undergraduates; and may participate in outreach, exhibits, and other activities to support the use of the Rubenstein's collections.

The Rubenstein Library is a division within the Duke University Libraries, with locations on West Campus and at Smith Warehouse. The Rubenstein holds more than 350,000 rare books, more than 10,000 manuscript collections, and the University Archives. Its collections are international in scope and cover a wide range of subjects. Researchers from the local community and from around the world consult these collections either in person or through the Libraries’ digital collections. University classes meet regularly in the Rubenstein and incorporate rare materials in their coursework. Lectures, exhibitions, performances, screenings, and symposia invite the public to engage with the Rubenstein’s collections in new ways.


  • Applicants must have completed the preliminary exam by the end of the spring semester before the period covered by the award.
  • Students are not eligible for this award if they have already received one of the following: Evan Frankel Fellowship, Anne Firor Scott Fellowship, Katherine Goodman Stern Fellowship.
  • Applicants are expected to have completed their examinations and be in the dissertation-writing stage in their Ph.D. program at Duke University, i.e. they will be in the last year of the degree during the year they are supported by this award.
  • Generally, strong preference will be given to applicants whose time at Duke as of the internship starting date has not exceeded six years.
  • Students may hold Library Internships for no more than two years.
  • All positions require ability to work independently and efficiently after initial training; reliability; excellent communication skills; ability to work well with other staff members; interest in working with primary source materials.
  • Research experience or employment in a manuscript, archival, or rare book repository is desirable.
  • No other award (whether fellowship or training-related) may be held concurrently with this internship without special permission from the dean.

To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department (see step 1 below)
  • Your CV (PDF)
  • A copy of your current Duke transcript or DukeHub report (PDF)
  • Two letters of recommendation from your DGS and faculty advisor. If your DGS and faculty advisor are the same individual only one letter of recommendation is required.
  • A PDF file that includes, in the following order,
    • An application letter (in PDF format). This should be no more than 3 pages, using 1-inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, and Arial 12-point font.
    • OPTIONAL: You may also include an additional 1-page bibliography.
    • A list of three references.


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Before you can submit your applications for this award to The Graduate School, you must first get approval from your director of graduate studies (DGS). Programs differ in how they choose their nominees. Check with your DGS.
  2. Once you have received approval from your DGS, go to The Graduate School’s fellowship application system to submit your application. | Application instructions (PDF)

Application Period

The application cycle opens in early October and closes in late November. Award recipients will be notified in spring semester. The Graduate School will announce exact dates closer to the start of the cycle, and they will be posted with the award listing on the school’s online application system.