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Internships, Volunteering & Donations

Jump to: Internship ProgramVolunteer Opportunities  • Donations

Internship Program

Overview • Areas of Focus • Eligibility and Qualifications • Work Schedule • Application Process

Intern processing manuscript collection
Thomas Balch Library intern processing archival collection. Thomas Balch Library Photographic Collection (VC RG07), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

An internship at Thomas Balch Library is a prearranged, structured learning experience scheduled within a specific time frame. The experience must be relevant to the intern's academic and professional goals and to research activities of the library. An internship is performed under the direct supervision of Thomas Balch Library professional staff in cooperation with a sponsoring college or university department.

Areas of Focus
The internship is designed to provide students with an opportunity to obtain practical experience in appraisal, arrangement, description, preservation, and other aspects of archival and special collections work, and to make important contributions to the Library’s mission to increase access to its holdings.

Subject to availability internships are available in the following areas:

  • Archives and Manuscript processing
  • Visual Collections processing
  • Special Library projects
  • Exhibits
  • Reference requests

An intern’s main task will be to arrange, describe and re-house archival, manuscript or visual materials or organize, re-house and provide access to rare books or other print materials. The intern will conduct original research in order to produce finding aids, including a scope and content note, a brief historical note, and container/location list.

An intern may have an opportunity to co-curate and design a small exhibit of materials from the collections for the Library’s exhibit cases or for the Library’s website.

An intern may occasionally assist with answering reference requests and with other tasks in the reading room.

Eligibility and Qualifications
Internships are open to undergraduate students and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree-granting institution, have graduated from a degree granting institution in the last six months or having evidence that they have been accepted into a degree-granting post-graduate program within six months.

Excellent writing skills, attention to detail, dependability, ability to work independently and on a consistent schedule, understanding of primary sources and care in handling unique materials are required. It is helpful for applicants to have had training in archival practice or previous employment in a research library, and familiarity with Microsoft Office, Photoshop and scanning equipment.

Work Schedule
Interns are expected to work the hours required to fulfill their academic credit hours between 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday. Once hours are established interns are expected to work on a consistent schedule. 

Application Process
Internships, which are unpaid, are arranged individually and require a personal interview with the Library Director.  For consideration, submit the following materials to the Library Director at the address below. 

  • Referral letter from academic advisor 
  • Copy of course requirements 
  • Cover letter and resume

Library Director
Thomas Balch Library
208 West Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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Volunteer Opportunities

Overview • Variety of OpportunitiesApplication Process

 Volunteer receiving thank-you
Thomas Balch Library volunteer receiving appreciation gift at annual luncheon. Thomas Balch Library Photographic Collection (VC RG07), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.


Volunteers have provided critical support for Thomas Balch Library since its establishment in 1922. Strong volunteer partnerships are essential for the Library to successfully carry out its mission. By recruiting and placing individuals who wish to contribute time and expertise to specific areas of work within the library, our Volunteer Program offers challenging opportunities for behind-the-scenes activities.

Variety of Opportunities

Volunteers work with staff members on both short and long-term projects. Opportunities are available in library, archives and manuscripts, and administrative offices. Placement is determined by matching volunteer qualifications, knowledge, interests, and availability with project requirements.

Volunteer opportunities include:

 Volunteer processing visual materials
Thomas Balch Library volunteer sorting slides. Thomas Balch Library Photographic Collection (VC RG07), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.
  • Administrative: general office support (answering phones, filing, data entry), preparing informational packets, assisting with special events.
  • Archives and Manuscripts: organizing and storing paper materials, photographs, and audio tapes.
  • Computers: databases; spread sheets and word processing.
  • Conservation: creating protective storage containers, repairing books.
  • Library: creating annotated bibliographies, indexing, shelving, shelf reading.
  • Marketing: assisting with mailings, distributing flyers and brochures, maintaining mailing databases.
  • Reference and Research: providing research support for exhibits, staff projects.
  • Special Library Projects.
  • Technology: digitization, photography and videography.
  • Visual Collections: processing photographic images and art work.

Upon completion of a written application and a personal interview with the Library Director, qualified applicants are matched with projects and referred to staff. Training is provided. A minimum time commitment of two months, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, may be required for certain projects. Applications may be submitted at any time.

Application Process

All volunteers must complete an online application with the Town. Please go to the Town's Job Opportunities page and scroll to the "Volunteer" application at the bottom of the page.

Once your application has been processed, the Library Director will contact you to schedule an interview.

For further information on the Volunteer program, contact us or call 703-737-7195.

The Library does not accept court-ordered Community Service volunteers.


Part of Thomas Balch Library’s mission is to collect and preserve archival, manuscript, photographic, printed, cartographic, and genealogical documentation of Leesburg, Loudoun County, and the surrounding region. The Library actively seeks and welcomes donations documenting the life, culture, and history of Leesburg and Loudoun County. More information about what the Library collects and the donation process may be found in Donating items to Thomas Balch Library - What do we collect?

Questions? Contact us or call 703-737-7195.

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