Chat requires JavaScript.
Search our site
  • UK Libraries Home


Learning Lab

Current Projects

The UK Libraries Division of Special Collections seeks applications from undergraduate students for internships in the Special Collections Learning Lab.


The purpose of the Special Collections Learning Lab is to promote student research, scholarship, and creativity, and more fully integrate Special Collections and primary source materials into the teaching and research mission of the University.


Special Collections undergraduate interns will be paired with unprocessed or under-processed archival collections and taught how to arrange and describe rare or unique collections in their area of research interest, while enhancing access through the production of guides, exhibits, or transcriptions. In addition, interns will create a poster, presentation, or exhibit reflecting on the impact the internship had on their research. This final project may be designed to dovetail with a required capstone or other academic requirement.


Interns work between five and 10 hours a week in Special Collections during the weekday hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and are paid $8.80 per hour. Weekly duties include keeping a project journal, related readings and assignments, and entering workflow statistics.


Projects available for the 2014-2015 academic year are:


1. Local Food

This is a joint, multimedia processing project, involving a minimum of two interns that will make collections related to Kentucky’s food history and culture more accessible through cataloging oral histories with our unique OHMS technology, and digitization of photos, cookbooks or other ephemera. Interns will gain experience in all of these areas, including arrangement and description of a collection, transcription, and analysis of controlled vocabulary using Library of Congress Subject Headings. The project is largely designed to increase visibility through catalog access, and the interns will create a final multimedia exhibit pulling all of the formats together.


2. Frankel & Curtis blueprints (*STEM)

Interns will make accessible a collection that highlights Lexington and Kentucky’s architectural history by processing the Frankel and Curtis blueprints and papers. This project lends itself to integration of GIS technology and the student should also be prepared to put historical preservation into context locally.  The intern will learn about conservation and will arrange and describe the collection. The intern should expect to digitize a sample of the collection. This project will also include analysis of a National Register of Historic Places application.


3. Cakes & Ale Club records

An intern will process this collection related to prominent Lexington lawyer Samuel M. Wilson, who founded the Cakes & Ale Club. The collection relates to lawyers, literature and dinner parties, but is relevant as a piece of local history. The intern will arrange, describe and preserve the collection and create a final project that links the collection Lexington’s history in a larger context.


4. Narcotics Farm “hidden collection”

This project would be compiled from a variety of primary sources to document the history of Lexington’s “narcotics farm,” which treated and experimented on individuals with substance abuse issues from the early through mid-20th century.  By gathering the primary source material from existing UK collections and other repositories, the intern would create a hidden collection that reveals much about the history of drug treatment and policy in the United States.


5. Faulconer, Johnstone, Shelby,  Tevis and Potter papers

This is a larger collection of various family papers documenting Kentucky history on such topics as the hemp industry, Southern economics, slave records and genealogy. Interns will process collections and digitize elements from collection for ExploreUK repository.


6. Amber Moon scrapbooks

Interns would, after consulting with the libraries’ conservationist and Digital Library Services, preserve two scrapbooks from this local Lexington theater troupe and digitizing elements of the collection. The troupe, which was established in 1977, was centered on women’s cultural arts performances, including some from the LGBTQ community. Collection will help round out history and documentation of progressive women’s issues in Lexington as they mirrored national cultural trends.



Please submit a completed application form with cover letter, resume/CV, and one faculty reference by Friday, September 19, 2014, to:


Deirdre Scaggs

Associate Dean, Special Collections

University of Kentucky Libraries

Margaret I. King Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0039