Professionalization opportunities abound in the UCCS Department of History
One of the most impactful opportunities the History Department offers its students is the chance to participate in local internships with organizations interested in preserving, investigating, curating, or teaching about history. Many of our students go on to full-time employment in these organizations after graduation; some are now heading organizations where they previously interned.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
UCCS offers its students opportunities to intern with the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, which is committed to building a lasting connection to the Pikes Peak region by preserving and sharing our cultural history. It accomplishes this mission through innovative exhibits, educational outreash and programming, and preservation of its object and archival collections. By interning with CSPM, students have the opportunity to learn about museum work and the archival and data entry processes that must be completed to ensure that all exhibits and artifacts are accounted for.
United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum
UCCS offers its students opportunities to intern with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum. Specifically, history students have the opportunity to work with the Crawford Family Archives to assist with one of the largest collections of Olympic and Paralympic Team USA memorabilia in the world. Established in 2012 through a transformative gift from Gordy and Dona Crawford, the archives occupy a state-of-the-art space at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee's headquarters in Colorado Springs. The permanent archives house over 11,000 objects related to the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
UCCS University Archives
Students have the opportunity to intern at the UCCS University Archives, which are open to faculty, staff, outside researchers, and students. This may include working with the University Archives reference service to help patrons find information from our collections. The University Archives identify, collect, organize, and preserve materials that document the history and operations of the Colorado Springs campus and facilitate their use for purposes of research and scholarly pursuits.
The University Archives house a few prominent collections, including the Beth-El Historical Collections (focusing on documents from Nursing and Health Sciences as well as the nursing profession in the 20th century) and the UCCS Digital Collections (which function as the University's main collections, housing digital content that complements traditional publishing outlets such as scholarly journals and conference proceedings).
Western Museum of Mining and Industry
Students may participate in an internship with the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. Established in 1970, the museum focuses on the history of mining and has multiple unique exhibits, including working mining machinery and a walk-through drift mine model. The museum also has interactive exhibits including gold panning stations, as well as Colorado's largest collection of fluorescent minerals. The mission of WMMI is to "educate the public about the history and continuing contributions of mining, ranching, and other supporting industries in the American West."
United States Air Force Academy, Clark Special Collections
History students at UCCS may serve as interns at the USAF Clark Special Collections Branch, which "serves the traditional function of a conventional university archive and operates as a repository for historical materials that document the origin of the US Air Force." The collection houses over 100,000 photographic images, 14,000 films and videos, and 12,000 rare books focusing on the history behind the US Air Force. Clark Special Collections also has access to the Air Force Academy Gimbel Aeronautical Library and the Air Force Academy Falconry collections. Students participating in an internship here have the potential to learn more about aeronautics and military strategy.
4th Infantry Division Museum
Students majoring or pursuing Master's degrees in History at UCCS have the opportunity to intern for credit with the 4th Infantry Division Museum housed at Fort Carson, CO. The museum has artifacts dating back to 1917 when the 4th Infantry Division began, and the artifacts in the museum are all related to the 4th Infantry Division's service and participation in wars. Students are provided with the opportunity to work in a museum environment, helping with collection preservation and learning about the interpretation of the history collection while gaining hands-on experience with artifacts and the museum collections management process. The Museum strives to form individual relationships with each student to guide the internship process which is tailored to each student's interests and skill sets.
Old Colorado City Heritage Society
Interns with the Old Colorado City Heritage Society assist with the documentation and preservation of artifacts in the Society's possession. The Society was established in 1976 with the goal of preserving the historical significance and culture of Colorado City and El Paso County. OCC Heritage Society is a volunteer-run establishment that allows the public to view artifacts and photographs or to visit their reference library.
World War II Aviation Museum
UCCS students may apply to intern with the WWII Aviation Museum, which opened in 2012. The Museum's mission is to provide educational experiences that promote a deeper understanding of the historical importance of American aviation in WWII and its role in shaping the world we live in today. Displays dedicated to the documentation and preservation of artifacts related to military aviation include Prelude to War; 1930s to December 1941; and Striking Back: February 1943-June 1944. As of February 2023, the museum is working on two new displays, Homefront: Mobilization of American Airpower, and Legacy.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Association
Interns with PPIHC will help organize exhibits at museums associated with the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, an annual event that began in 1916 to commemorate the 1915-completed Pikes Peak Highway. The event is currently the second-oldest motorsports race in the U.S. Since the original record time of 20 minutes, 55.6 seconds set by Rea Lentz in 1916, times have improved leading to a new record in 2022 of 10 minutes, 9.525 seconds. Interns may be working on exhibits for the Penrose Heritage Museum, the Unser Racing Museum, or other related institutions.
African American Historical and Genealogical Society
Student interns with AAHGSCS contribute to the preservation of African American genealogical materials, assist with research, and acquire and share African American historical and genealogical information. Since its establishment in 2000, the Society's mission has been to preserve and "ensure that African Americans are included as an integral part of the history of the Pikes Peak region and our nation," and to "instill a sense of pride in the youth and expose the broader community to the culture and contributions of black people."
Manitou Springs Heritage Center and Museum
Founded in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the volunteer-run Manitou Springs Heritage Center strives to "collect, preserve, research, and interpret the history and culture of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak region." The center has a physical museum as well as digital collections, and also supports community projects and events such as the restoration of the Eastern Gateway Arch, rehabilitation of Mansions Park, installation of historical interpretive plaques around Manitou Springs, and the placement of an Emma Crawford Memorial in Crystal Valley Cemetery. Interns have countless opportunities to learn about and help preserve local history through creating new exhibits.
Grand Masonic Lodge of CO, Museum and Archive
UCCS students can intern with the Colorado Springs chapter of the Grand Masonic Lodge, which has been operating since 1889. The Lodge strives to promote and support education through research and history related to Freemasonry and its associated fraternal organizations, with more than 50 papers and research into Colorado Freemasonry as well as an extensive collection that has yet to be published. Students interning with the Lodge will promote and support education and research surrounding Freemason history.
Penrose Library Special Collections
The Penrose Library Special Collections, located within the downtown branch of PPLD, focus on local history and genealogy. The collection presents local history to the public through books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, films and videos, government documents, pamphlets, periodicals, and more. The library also houses an extensive genealogy collection. Working with the Special Collections allows students to develop their research skills as they will be able to assist visitors with research into their own history or local history of interest. Students also enhance their organizational skills as they help archivists catalog and organize new and existing materials. The library has both digital and physical records.
Palmer Lake Historical Society
Since 1956, the Palmer Lake Historical Society has operated the Lucretia Vaile Museum in Palmer Lake. The museum's mission is to preserve the records and artifacts of the Palmer Divide, as well as to organize free events for the community, support the publication of materials on local history, and place historical markers throughout Monument and Palmer Lake. Student interns will assist in documenting information that comes to the museum, help with walking tours hosted by the Society, and assist with general responsibilities in the Lucretia Vaile Museum.
Pueblo County Historical Society
Founded in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) organization, the Pueblo County Historical Society is run on a volunteer basis and assists with the Edward Broadhead Library. Its goal is to help protect and promote historical Pueblo through monthly programming on local and regional topics; a monthly magazine, The Pueblo Lore; organizing field trips; publishing books on local history; assisting with collecting artifacts relevant to local history; and assisting members and visitors with historical and genealogical research. Interns will develop research and organizational skills through assisting visitors with research; helping sort, research, and identify old photos, maps, and documents; writing articles about historical events, places, and people; and maintaining the collections of vintage farm, home, business, and personal items.
Bessemer Historical Society & Steelworks Museum
The non-profit Bessemer Historical Society assists with the Steelworks Museum in Pueblo, opened in 2008. The Museum serves as the interpretive center for the history of Colorado fuel and iron industries. Working with the Historical Society allows interns to develop research skills through assisting visitors with research and organizational skills through helping file, organize, clean, and set up displays for new exhibits.