London's vast array of museums draws visitors and scholars from all over the world. Museum internships offer extraordinary opportunities to work as research and administrative assistants: preparing, mounting, and publicizing new exhibits; researching the history and background of objects; recording, cataloguing; and designing educational materials and leading school tours; and planning and promoting arts festivals. The program is open to students of all backgrounds who are interested in a wide range of museum-related work. English and history majors will find many exciting opportunities in London museums. Placements are selected to correspond to the interests of the individual student as well as the needs of the museum; a detailed knowledge or particular interest in a specific field should be noted in a cover letter attached to the application. Following is a partial list of museums that have accepted interns in the past. (Not every museum has openings for interns every semester.)
- Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
- A branch of the Victoria and Albert, this collection focuses on the social history of childhood.
- Bonham's Auction House
- Arts administration, curatorial work.
- Hamilton's Gallery
- Contemporary photography.
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- World-renowned museum of decorative arts, including collections from all countries, categories, and ages. Interns have been placed in the exhibitions department and in the departments of ceramics, furniture and woodwork, jewelry, musical instruments, paintings, and drawings.
- Royal Festival Hall
- Press and promotions department.
- British Museum
- The oldest museum in the world and one of the most renowned, the British Museum contains treasures from all over the world, many of which were brought to Britain by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers.
- Jewish Museum
- This museum examines the history and religious life of the Jewish community in Britain and elsewhere. Students undertake research for exhibitions and administrative tasks.
- Royal Armouries
- The largest and most important collection of arms and armor in Britain, originally organized by Henry the VIII. There are approximately 40,000 objects in the collection, ranging from weapons of warfare to sporting pieces.
- Dr. Johnson's House
- The historic home of Dr. Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth-century scholar, containing exhibits relating to Dr. Johnson and the times in which he lived.