Practica

Practica

Practica at the Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology provide students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in museums while earning academic credit through Indiana University’s Program in Arts Administration, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Department of Information and Library Sciences, and other coursework. 

Museum practica must be arranged with museum personnel and authorized by the faculty of record for the specific practicum course prior to registration.

Acceptance of practicum students is limited.

 

Process

To apply for a practicum at the IUMAA: please review the following listings and then submit a completed application (link at the bottom) to the appropriate departmental supervisor for an interview. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

Select candidates will be interviewed and must receive endorsement from the appropriate museum supervisor in order to enroll in the course.

After obtaining endorsement from the appropriate museum departmental supervisor, the student must obtain authorization from the faculty of record for the course.

Requirements

Required Orientation

All students earning academic credit at the museum through practica/internships are required to attend a student orientation each semester. During this orientation, introductions will be made, paperwork will be filled out, safety and security will be discussed, and a building tour will be given.

Capstone Event

The end of each semester will culminate in a Capstone Event where practicum students will present brief talks on their experiences working at the museum. These talks can focus on what you’ve learned about yourself, how you see this experience relating to your future professional life, what you learned about a particular artifact or place, or other information that demonstrates/explains your experience at the IUMAA. Participation in both the entry and exit events is required and critical.

Grading

All practicum hours must be completed during the semester you’re enrolled in order to earn a passing grade. Grades are raised or lowered based on the quality of practicum work and your adherence to museum policies and procedures. All students must participate in the Capstone Event, which will require a brief talk/presentation. The Capstone talk/presentation is 15% of the total practicum grade; the remainder of the grade level is based on practicum work performance. Please check with your departmental supervisor for specific guidelines.

Work Schedule

Students must provide to their supervisors a set work schedule at the beginning of the semester. If possible, work should be scheduled in time blocks of three hours or more.

Hours

The required number of practicum hours worked per week at the IUMAA varies according to the number of credit hours the student is enrolled in, and the semester of enrollment. Please review the table below.

Credit Hours

Fall / Spring

Summer 1 / Summer 2

Total

1

3 hours per week for 15 weeks

7.5 hours per week for 6 weeks

45 hours per semester

 

2

6 hours per week 15 week

15 hours per week for 6 weeks

90 hours per semester

 

3

9 hours per week for 15 weeks

22.5 hours per week for 6 weeks

135 hours per semester

4

12 hours per week for 15 weeks

30 hours per week for 6 weeks

180 hours per semester

5

15 hours per week per semester

37.5 hours per week for 6 weeks

225 hours per semester

6

18 hours per week for 15 weeks

45 hours per week for 6 weeks

270 hours per semester

Practica opportunities at IUMAA

Supervisor: Theresa Harley-Wilson, Registrar, tharleyw@indiana.edu

Credits: Students may take 2-4 credits of practicum per semester

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: None

Qualifications: Students should be efficient, organized, flexible, and able to pay close attention to details. They should also have good computer, reasoning, and writing skills. An interest in learning about and working with collections documentation systems is desirable

Duties: Students will be responsible for a variety of duties, which can include:

  • Generating receipts and legal documents for artifacts entering and exiting the museum(both acquisitions and loans) adhering to procedures outlined in Registration Department handbook
  • Accurately and timely entering of data into appropriate databases
    Troubleshooting discrepancies found in collections records
  • Safely handling artifacts per museum guidelines
  • Recording condition of artifacts on standard report form
  • Packing/unpacking artifacts and documenting packing
  • Other projects as the need arises
  • Because the nature of registration is both varied and cyclical – and many departmental activities are tied to exhibits, incoming and outgoing loans, and other museum programming – projects will be assigned throughout each semester as needed. Students will be responsible for both ongoing and short-term assignments with specific due dates.

Supervisor: Theresa Harley-Wilson, Registrar, tharleyw@indiana.edu

Credits: Students may take 2 to 4 credit hours of practicum per semester.

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: Introduction to Museum Studies (A403) or previous museum experience is useful, but not required. All students who wish to enroll in an inventory support practicum will be interviewed and must have permission to register.

Qualifications: Students interested in an inventory support practicum should have careful and responsible work practices, and a commitment to neatness and accuracy. Because they will be working closely with the collections, they should have an interest in experiencing the physical nature of artifacts of material culture and learning about handling, storage, and environmental best practices in collections management.

Duties: Students will be responsible for a variety of duties, which can include:

  • Safely handling artifacts per museum guidelines
  • Inventorying sections of the collection following museum procedures and recording data collected so that it can be easily read and transcribed
  • Troubleshooting discrepancies found during inventory
  • Accurate and timely data entry associated with inventory
  • Making certain that artifacts are neatly stored per museum guidelines
  • Other projects as the need arises

The museum has a fiduciary responsibility to achieve and maintain an accurate accounting for all collections. Inventory is an ongoing function that is essential to meeting this responsibility. The Registrar will assign storage sections to be inventoried and will generate the forms that the students will be required to complete. Students will interact with artifacts from throughout the world and will gain experience in museum artifact numbering and storage systems.

Supervisor: Emily Bryant, Assistant Registrar and Ethnographic Collections Manager, bryantem@indiana.edu or 812-855-0199

Credits: Students may take 2-4 credit hours of practicum per semester

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: Introduction to Museum Studies (A403) or previous museum experience is useful, but not required. All students who wish to enroll in a cataloging practicum will be interviewed and must have permission to register.

Qualifications: Students interested in a cataloging practicum should be efficient, organized, and able to pay close attention to details. They should also have good computer, research, and writing skills. Legible handwriting is a must.

Duties: Students taking a cataloging practicum will be expected to:

  • Familiarize themselves with the way the museum’s collections move through standard channels of registration and cataloging
  • Learn and follow proper methods of handling artifacts
  • Learn the IUMAA standardized cataloging system
  • Catalog or re-catalog collections according to museum procedures
  • Create paper records of work as instructed
  • Research collections as necessary for accurate cataloging/re-cataloging
  • Write up research notes and bibliographies as collections are cataloged/re-cataloged

Supervisor:  Matt Sieber, Manager of Exhibits and Photographer, msieber@iu.edu

Credits: Beginning students must take a minimum of 3 credit hours of practicum.

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: Returning students may take 2 to 4 credit hours, subject to supervisor’s approval. Introduction to Museum Studies (A403) or previous museum experience is helpful but not required for an Exhibits practicum. All applicants must provide at least one example of her or his writing, preferably including a research paper with sources. A detailed list of database and computer program experience must be submitted. An interview is required.

Qualifications: Students interested in exhibitions practica must be efficient, organized, motivated, and able to pay close attention to details. Skills in the areas of carpentry, graphics production, and/or research are helpful. Willingness to do mundane tasks and get dirty is required.

Duties: Students taking an exhibitions practicum must be capable of meeting deadlines. Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with museum policies and procedures as they relate to exhibitions. Depending on the needs of the exhibit schedule, students may be asked to assist with carpentry, painting, construction of mounts, assist with framing photos, object photography, research on artifacts, and/or help with label production. All students will be expected to assist with clean-up, exhibits maintenance, and various miscellaneous tasks. Students assist the Manager of Exhibitions, Head of Programs and Education, Exhibits and Education Assistant, and the Preparators to mount and install exhibitions.

Supervisor: Sarah Rosenkrans, Exhibits and Education Assistant, srosenkr@iu.edu

Credits: 2-3 credit hours

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: Introduction to Museum Studies or previous museum experience preferred but not required. Course work related to interior design, informal learning techniques, and graphic design is also helpful, but not required. An interview with the supervisor is required.

Qualifications: Students should be organized, creative problem solvers that can visually communicate their ideas. Must have prior knowledge or be willing to do research related to museum exhibit design and ADA standards. Experience working with power tools and/or tinkering with simple computers and circuits will open up more opportunities.

Duties: Interested students will help the exhibits team develop hands-on interactive elements for the IUMAA’s exhibits. This process is comprised of many tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Familiarizing themselves with exhibit topic and basic construction techniques
  • Developing ideas for hands-on interactives connected to the exhibit themes
  • Pitching designs to exhibit team and working with supervisor to refine them
  • Potentially, helping construct final designs and install them into exhibit space

 

Supervisor: Matthew Sieber, Manager of Exhibits and Photographer, msieber@iu.edu

Credits: Students may take 2 to 4 credit hours of practicum per semester, depending upon supervisor’s approval.

Semester Available (Fall, Spring, or Both):  Both

Prerequisites: Experience in any or all of the following areas is useful but not necessary:

  • Digital photography experience
  • Scanning photographs and storing digital information
  • Studio experience

An interview required, including portfolio review or samples of previous printing work and/or digital work. 

Qualifications: Students interested in photography practica should be efficient, organized, motivated, able to pay close attention to details, and possess digital photography experience.

Duties: Students taking a photography practicum will be expected to:

  • Familiarize themselves with museum policies and procedures as related to photography
  • Learn proper handling of artifacts, including historic negatives and prints
  • Work in the studio photographing various artifacts as needed in digital format
  • Keep careful records of the work
  • Work in the studio photographing various artifacts as needed in digital format
  • Work in the graphics lab or collections workroom digitizing the museum’s collections of historic photographs and/or negatives