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Learning Lab Internship

What to Expect in the Learning Lab

Fall Semester

The fall semester prepares the foundation students need to understand primary sources and primary source research.

  • Meet as a group once a week for two hours. 
  • Students have readings and assignments that take place outside of the archives.
  • Weekly discussions include archival topics such as:
    • Archival Theory and History
    • Provenance
    • Security
    • Arrangement & Description
    • Appraisal
    • Primary Source Research
  • Students are given their collections.
  • Form research question based on collection.
  • Write and submit conference abstract.

Spring Semester

The spring semester is dedicated to conducting research and processing the collections.

  • Meet as a group once a week for two hours.
  • Conduct thorough research on topic.
  • Support each other through the research process.
  • Disseminate research findings through conference presentations and/or published articles.
  • Process the collection so that future researchers will be able to access it.
  • Discuss research and the Learning Lab experience at UK Libraries event.

Application Steps

Step 1. Confirm Qualifications, Interest, and Availability

Your first step in applying for the Learning Lab is to confirm the following credentials: 

  • You will be an undergraduate for the following academic year
  • You can commit 10 hours of work per week during the academic year
  • You want to learn about primary source research

While we do accept sophomores, we give preference to those who will be juniors and seniors during their internship. 

Step 2. Read About the Program

Read about the program to see if this program interests you. If you want further information or would like to discuss it in more detail, please contact the program director, Carol Street at

Step 3. Select a Collection

Read through the list of available collections and select one or two that interest you. Think about what interests you about the collections and explore ideas you might have on what research using those materials would look like. You will be asked to write a brief essay (under 250 words) in the application to describe your interests and what you hope to learn from working with these primary sources.

No matter the size of the collection, think about the subject, why you are interested in it, and what you would hope to learn from it. You are welcome to look at previous Learning Lab intern projects for ideas on how other students explored their collections. We don't expect you to have a detailed essay at this point, but we are looking for curiosity, interest in research, and creative ideas.  Your essay is the most important element of your application.

Step 4. Apply

Now that you've selected the collection or collections you're interested in and written your essay, then the only thing to do is to apply for the internship. Applications are accepted annually in the Spring.