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Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally recognized urban history center composed of a museum, a scholarly research library, and an education center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn’s extraordinary 400-year history. The mission of BHS is to connect the past to the present and make the vibrant history of Brooklyn tangible, relevant, and meaningful for today’s diverse communities and for generations to come.

Brooklyn Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Diversity and equity are core values of the institution.

Our work is strengthened by the wide range of perspectives, positionalities, skills, and experiences of our present staff. We are dedicated to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of any mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.

Full-time & Part-time Positions

Join a team of dedicated, passionate individuals working to sharing the past, present, and future of Brooklyn with a curious public. Click each position title to learn more about responsibilities, preferred qualifications, compensation, and how to apply.


Brooklyn Historical Society seeks an Archivist to support arrangement and description and reference activities within the Curatorial Affairs and Collections department. Reporting to the Manager of Archives and Special Collections, the Archivist will be responsible for surveying, arranging, and describing archival materials, including supporting our born-digital records program. The Archivist will also play a central role in supporting use of collections through managing reproduction requests from external and internal stakeholders, including assessing copyright status, and conducting in-house digitization of assets when appropriate. This position will also serve on the reference desk regularly, and participate in departmental advocacy and outreach. The Archivist will support grant-funded projects as needed.

This position will play a key role in supporting initiatives across the institution, including education programs, exhibitions, and special projects. Brooklyn Historical Society is committed to telling diverse stories, and the Curatorial Affairs and Collections department is committed to centering the knowledge and memory-making practices of communities who are traditionally excluded from the archival record. We encourage applicants who bring a critical analysis of archives or the archival profession.


Arrangement and Description

• Survey, process, arrange and describe archival collections using ArchivesSpace
• Conduct item-level cataloging using Past Perfect when appropriate
• Support continued development and iteration of born-digital processing and access program
• Contribute to stacks maintenance of archival collections across multiple facilities

Rights and Reproductions Management

• Respond to and manage staff- and researcher-requested reproductions of collection items
• Distribute assets to internal users and external partners
• Conduct in-house digitization of assets as needed, according to professional best practices
• Research and assess copyright status for all requests
• Work closely with staff across departments to improve public access to digital assets
• Conduct quality control for all digital surrogates and metadata to assure accuracy and consistency
• Oversee organization of and access to internal and external assets related to BHS programs and projects, including exhibitions, education programs, and others

Reference and Outreach

• Serve on the Library reference desk 2 times per week
• Serve on the Library reference desk 2 Saturdays per month
• Serve on Brooklyn Historical Society Committees
• Participate in outreach initiatives, including Photo of the Week, social media, and BHS blog
• Represent BHS in professional regional and national organizations


Required Qualifications

• Masters in Library and Information Science, Public History, or related field, or comparable work experience.
• 2-3 years archival arrangement and description experience
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to work as both independently and collaboratively
• Strong organization and time-management skills; attention to accuracy and detail is essential

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience conducting digitization of archival materials on flatbed scanners
• Experience supporting curatorial and exhibition projects


Position is full-time, with a salary range of $55,000 to $58,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, paid vacation, 401k, and support for professional development. BHS staff ID grants free entrance to museums around New York City.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and CV to [email protected], with “[last name] – Archivist” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed in early January 2020. No phone calls please.

Posting Date:

December 13, 2019

Brooklyn Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Facilities Assistant-Part Time

The Facilities Assistant reports to the BHS Operations Manager and Visitor Services Supervisor.  The primary responsibility of this position is to assist with the maintenance and operation of BHS’ historic landmark building at 128 Pierrepont Street and our second location at 55 Water St, Empire Stores.


• Assist with housekeeping, sanitation, and environmental conditions throughout the facility, including the exterior and pedestrian sidewalks.
• Follow weekly schedule of cleaning priorities.
• Maintain all floors and stairwells, including vacuuming, mopping, stripping, buffing, shampooing carpet; operate necessary equipment.
• Dust and clean woodwork, desktops, walls, work surfaces, windows, office equipment, staff kitchen, etc.
• Inventory management for all housekeeping supplies
• Learn proper use of equipment and materials to avoid harming museum artifacts and sensitive architectural fixtures.
• Assist with performance of daily physical tasks such as moving office furniture and equipment.
• Perform general repairs and maintenance to building. Inform supervisor of needed supplies. Organize supplies inventory and assist with maintaining equipment.
• Assist with overseeing work done by outside contractors.

Required Skills:

• High School Diploma or GED; or 5+ years of work related experience and/or training.
• Experience in custodian, housekeeping, or maintenance field preferred.
• Experience with escorting vendors and overall building management.
• Must be available at least one weekend day.
• Driver’s License a plus but not mandatory.

Hours & Compensation

15-30 hours per week, $15.00 per hour

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume to [email protected], with “Facilities Assistant” in the subject line.

Posting Date:

July 29, 2019

Brooklyn Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Internship Opportunities

BHS is proud to offer departmental internships that help participants gain valuable experience working in many facets of an active and vibrant organization. Internships can be counted toward course credit where applicable. Click each department heading to see available internship opportunities.

Advancement and Development

There are no internship opportunities available with this department at this time. Please check back again in the future.


There are no internship opportunities available with this department at this time. Please check back again in the future.

Curatorial Affairs and Collections

Reference and User Services Internship

The Library & Archives department of Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) seeks a Reference and User Services Intern for the Spring, 2020, semester.

BHS’s reference and user services internship is a long-standing program with a proven track record providing interns hands-on experience in a special collections reading room. Alumni of the program have gone on to hold professional library and archives positions at many renowned academic, governmental, and cultural institutions in New York City and beyond.


Under the supervision of the Reference Librarian, interns:

• staff the reference desk and supervise the library reading room
• answer in-person, email, phone, and mail reference questions
• help users make appointments for archival research
• welcome museum visitors to an interior landmarked library
• gather user services assessment data
• create new or enhance existing online subject guides


Commitment of one or two days (Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday) from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm for the Spring, 2020 semester. The ideal candidate demonstrates reliability, punctuality, attention to detail, and follow-through. They are patient, helpful, and energetic when working with the public.
Candidates must be enrolled in a graduate-level history or ALA-accredited library science/archives program. Competitive candidates will have already completed coursework in reference and user services. An academic focus or some experience with special collections and archives is preferred.

Additionally, candidates must be able to lift and carry library materials and equipment weighing up to 40 lbs; to stoop, reach, walk up and down stairs; to stand and sit for prolonged periods of time; to work in a cold setting (60-65° F); and to work in conditions where dust and mold are sometimes encountered.


Internships are unpaid and are intended to fulfill course credit requirements for internships and practicums. BHS staff ID grants free entrance to museums around New York City.

To Apply:

Please email resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the following subject line: “(LastName) – User Services Internship.”

Applications will be reviewed immediately.

Posting Date:

November 15, 2019


There are no internship opportunities available with this department at this time. Please check back again in the future.

Public Programs and Communications

There are no internship opportunities available with this department at this time. Please check back again in the future.

Operations and Retail

There are no internship opportunities available with this department at this time. Please check back again in the future.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers at Brooklyn Historical Society offer valuable assistance to staff, visitors, and the general public in a variety of ways. Passionate about the past, present, and future of Brooklyn, volunteers are individuals who enjoy engaging with the diverse communities who make up our great borough. BHS welcomes volunteers eighteen years and older who have a sincere desire to lend their time and their skills to the institution. Volunteer opportunities are subject to availability and applicant’s qualifications. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Apply today – if you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] detailing your volunteer interests and including your résumé. Qualified applicants will be required to attend an in-person interview.