LIS Students Receive Smithsonian Internships

Allyson Ota and Keala Richard have been awarded stipends through the Smithsonian Minority Awards Program to participate in a summer program for interns. The program runs from June 6 through August 12, 40 hours each week, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. The awards pay the interns $6000 for the ten-week program with an additional $600 for travel.

Allyson OtaAllyson described her assigned project:

I am going to be working under the supervision of Joel Richard, the head of SI Libraries Web Services, on a project to apply standardized identifiers to library data. This project involves learning to use APIs to external data sources to enhance and enrich existing data with standard identifiers, e.g., VIAF IDs for Personal Names, DBPedia for biographical information. Possible SIL data sets include (in order of preference) Art and Artists Files, Taxonomic Literature II, Digital Library Books. Goals include creating a workflow for gathering and adding identifiers to local datasets. The project will allow me to gain experience working with standard tools and methods for consuming and manipulating library data in non-MARC formats; learn how to enhance large, challenging data sets to expose content to users and researchers; and provide exposure to concepts and project planning related to Linked Open Data.

Keala RichardKeala described her specific project:

I will be focusing on editing and creating Wikipedia pages for Mughal art, architecture and culture. In this project, we will gain experience contributing information to Wikipedia by mining the Freer/Sackler Library’s printed resources beginning with an annotated bibliography of printed monographs standard for the study of Mughal art and architecture. We start with a topic list of pre-identified Wikipedia pages that includes object numbers for images that might be used for illustrating the individual topics. Once we are comfortable doing this work, we will each select a topic dealing with Mughal art and architecture to edit independently.

Allyson added, “I did not expect to be granted such an amazing opportunity in my lifetime, and I am really excited to be doing this. I hope more students apply from our program in years to come.”

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. If you would like more information about the Smithsonian Internships and Fellowships, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Internships at 202-633-7070 or check out their Web site at