• Computers • Research Library • Historical Preservation • Office/Clerical • Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • General Assistance
ORGANIZATION HIGHLIGHTS: Hopewell Furnace is a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service as one of the finest examples of a restored charcoal-burning, cold-blast, iron furnace and its surrounding community. Such "iron plantations" played a crucial role in the development of southeastern Pennsylvania and laid the foundations for the industrial development of this country. Hopewell Furnace operated from 1771 until 1883, spanning several generations of that development, from its infancy in the colonial period to the creation of the steel and railroad industries of the 19th century.
AREA: Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, just 15 miles from Reading (the "outlet capital of the world") and 45 miles west of Philadelphia, but still in a very rural area. It is bordered on three sides by 7,500 acre French Creek State Park and is close to Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
JOB TITLES & DUTIES: Curatorial Assistant - The Curatorial Assistant obtains an overview of collection management by assisting the park's Cultural Resource Manager with preservation maintenance of exhibits, pest monitoring, environmental monitoring, accessioning, cataloging, historic housekeeping, reorganization of storage, library work and museum inventories. In addition, there may be special projects based on the park's needs.
Research Assistant - With the help of Hopewell Furnace staff, the intern will research and enter data into the Hopewell Furnace Historical Database. The database documents the lives of approximately 4,000 individuals who worked at or conducted business with Hopewell Furnace from c.1780 to 1900 and approximately 500 Civilian Conservation Corps workers who assisted in the development of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site and French Creek State Park between 1935-1942. Experience in Microsoft Access is helpful. Work may include upgrades to the database, cross-referencing worker names with census and church records, and correcting errors in the database. Interns may also work in the park's libarary and assist researchers.
Volunteer Interpreter - In the summer this involves explaining to visitors about life at Hopewell Furnace through the technique of third-person living history. This may include molding and casting demonstrations, demonstrations of domestic crafts, brick oven baking, blacksmithing, farming, or charcoal making. During the fall or the spring a Volunteer Interpreter would be involved in giving tours to school groups. Some interns have also performed clerical work and staffed the visitor center information desk.
Administrative Assistant - The Administrative Assistant gets an overview of National Park Service administrative functions and management including records management, disposition of historic records, budget work, and internal control guidelines. The intern may serve as a part-time Records Manager, receiving detailed training in National Park Service records management, reviewing the proper application of this program to Hopewell Furnace, updating records according to applicable guidelines, and disposing of records in accordance with a set disposition schedule. This position requires an organized individual capable of making independent judgments and reporting to the park's Administrative Officer over the course of two or three months.
Management Assistant - With help from Hopewell Furnace staff, the intern prepares internal control documents for the Superintendent's signature. The ability to communicate clearly and to research existing regulations and interpret them is required.
Maintenance Assistant - Interns work with trades people (Wood Crafter, Maintenance Mechanic, etc.) performing duties such as painting, repairing historic structures, and splitting wood for charcoal burns. These duties also involve working with the facility manager on inventories, condition assessments, and administrative functions. Maintenance Assistants gain first-hand knowledge about the day-to-day operations of a National Park Service Historic Site and the maintenance of historic structures.
DATES: Internship dates are variable, full or part time. Generally, positions last 3 to 4 months (with 20 hours of work per week).
SKILLS: Knowledge, Skills & Abilities in the following areas are helpful, but not required: Cultural Resources - history, archeology, or museum studies. Historical Interpretation - history, theater, communications, or park management. Maintenance – architecture, historic preservation, landscaping, carpentry, woodworking. All volunteers must show a willingness to work and get along with a wide variety of co-workers and visitors. A genuine desire to insure that each visitor has an enjoyable experience at Hopewell Furnace is essential. Volunteers must be flexible enough to handle variations in work routine caused by shifting priorities and visitor needs.
COMPENSATION: No stipends available. Shared housing is provided. (No pets allowed in shared housing.) Depending on an intern’s needs and the availability of funds, reimbursement for expenses for one meal per day for each 5 hour day worked or $.14 per mile for a car commute may be available. A great opportunity to learn through on-the-job experience about the daily operations of a National Park and the skills required for historical interpretation, visitor center operations, and cultural resource preservation and management.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Description: Shared housing may be available.