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UK Libraries Learning Lab Internship is a paid opportunity for intellectually curious undergraduates from all disciplines. Set in our Special Collections Research Center, interns pursue individual, long-term research projects involving rare and unique archival materials from our collections, building invaluable skills under close mentorship and training from our archivists in a transformative, unique experience unlike any other available on campus.

Applications & Scheduling

Applications for Learning Lab Internships are accepted annually in the spring.

  • Internships run from August to April.
  • Students work up to 10 hours/week.
  • Pay is $11 an hour.

First Semester: Interns learn archival research methods and theory and gain practical, hands-on experience preserving and promoting access to archival materials within their research interest.

Second Semester: Interns study primary source materials in their chosen collection, chart a research path, and disseminate their findings through a research project of their own design. View a selection of past projects.

Additional information about applying for UK Libraries Learning Lab Internship can be found on this guide and any questions about the program may be directed to Carol Street at


Carol Street Undergraduate Research Archivist

Location Detail
Special Collections Research Center
Hands turning the pages of a hand-written document

Learning Lab interns work with a variety of primary source materials.

Select a Collection

Learning Lab interns work intimately with a special collection of their choice. The possibilities are as diverse as our holdings. Past collections include:

  • The William E. Adams papers, documenting the work of a rural Kentucky physician in the early 1900s
  • The Laura Clay papers, detailing the life and career of the social reformer and leader of the women's suffrage movement
  • The Bur Press records, comprising manuscripts, proofs, and photographs from the women-owned small press in Lexington

Every spring, we post collections that prospective interns can work with over the following year. These are not an exhaustive list, but are meant to inspire.  We want you to be creative in your research, so if there's a collection you've discovered that you'd like to work with, let us know.

Browse available collections for our 2023-24 Learning Lab internships.

Develop a Research Project

The Learning Lab Internship Program targets outstanding, self-driven, and intellectually curious undergraduates from all disciplines. No matter your chosen field of study, you will encounter materials that challenge and inspire you, and help you build confidence and skills that are applicable to any discipline or career. 

This past year at the Learning Lab I discovered the historical significance of archival analysis, and how the archives hold value for modern research. I learned to apply my passions and classroom experience to fuel my understanding to make my project my own. – Brandon Steele, Learning Lab 2017-2018; Chemical Engineering major, Class of 2020

Your project is limited only by your creativity. Past projects have included exhibitions, research tools, digital humanities projects, articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and posters or presentations at national and international conferences. Across all subjects and formats, the Learning Lab program provides interns with a unique opportunity to learn from the past on the way to building a better future.

Learning Lab interns in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Learning Lab interns in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during the World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Oldenburg, Germany, May 2019.

Two female students look at a rare book in the Great Hall.

Peer mentoring and support is a huge benefit to Learning Lab interns.

Benefit Beyond Measure

In addition to being a paid position, the Learning Lab Internship is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be a part of a supportive peer environment, build a learning community centered around research, and receive individual mentoring over the course of a year-long project.

Our interns leave the Learning Lab program better prepared for graduate school and professional life, gaining experience and skills applicable to any discipline or career and improving their critical thinking and analytical skills.

We also provide resume and cover letter help and up to $500 in travel costs for students who are invited to present their scholarly work at conferences.

There are so many things I enjoy about the Learning Lab. The opportunity to conduct my own research with material literally from hundreds of years ago, getting to work with such smart and impressive other interns, and our mentor, a literal lifesaver, who I couldn’t be more thankful is in charge of the program. – Aaron Shrout, Learning Lab 2020-2021; Economics major, Class of 2023

I always thought my 'eureka' moment would have to do with the sciences or [be] in a scientific laboratory setting. But, no. This is my eureka.

Dealla Samadi, Neuroscience, Biology, and French majors, Class of 2019
Learning Lab 2017-2018

Support the Learning Lab

The Learning Lab Internship Program is funded completely through private gifts to UK Libraries' Enrichment Fund. We are extremely grateful for the support of UK alumni and friends who have made the funding for this important program possible.

Make a Gift