PHS intern Marcus Baldwin (left) and PHS archivist Jenny Barr. Photo provided.

PHS intern Marcus Baldwin (left) and PHS archivist Jenny Barr. Photo provided.

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) has succeeded in raising the necessary funds to support internships for Community College of Philadelphia students.

Gifts made by donors across the country through the Society’s Giving Tuesday page raised $4,590 — more than double what was needed to meet the $1,500 matching gift made by an anonymous donor.

Since 2017, PHS has welcomed classes from the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to explore the national archives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and to develop research and critical-thinking skills by investigating primary-source and rare secondary-source documents. Encouraged by the enthusiasm of students and professors, PHS extended three student internships in 2019 and 2020 as part of the Building Knowledge & Breaking Barriers project.

The Society’s Giving Tuesday campaign this year raised a total of $6,090, allowing PHS to offer two internships in 2021 and two in 2022.

In a recent video, PHS Archivist Jenny Barr explained the importance of paid internships in the archive and library profession.

“It’s really common when you’re going through school to do unpaid internships,” Barr said. “If you have the wherewithal to spend a semester or a year doing unpaid work, that’s great, but not everybody has that. It automatically slices out a whole bunch of people who could be interested in this field, who could make valuable contributions to this field.”

Staff at the college are thrilled that the campaign has opened new opportunities for students.

“I am so excited to hear about the response that the Presbyterian Historical Society received for this internship initiative on behalf of CCP students!” said Ayanna Washington, director of CCP’s Career Connections Workforce & Economic Innovation Unit. “These internships will help CCP students begin to build their skills for future job opportunities and help to expose them to the world of work.”

Previous interns from CCP worked across departments to process collections, research and write histories using archival collections, and create documentaries for the Society’s YouTube page.

PHS Executive Director Nancy J. Taylor is excited about this year’s Giving Tuesday success.

“We are so grateful for the support of our paid internship program,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming our new CCP interns in 2021.”