Internships

Are you a student at Uppsala University and would like to do an internship with us? Gustavianum welcomes interns who are interested in working with our collections. We have large collections of classical Nordic and Egyptian archaeological material, science history, art and coins. If you are interested in doing an internship with us, please talk to your own department.

Internship portrait - Eirik is de Visser

Education: My name is Eirik is de Visser. I am a second-year Research Master student following the pre-modern history track at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands).  I have been a research fellow at several American research institutes, including the Center of Historical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, I have been in the coin trade since 2011, having worked at several coin firms in the Netherlands and the United States.

What have you learned? The most important lesson I have learned is so far is that the digitization of a coin collection is a long and slow process. It takes a great deal of time and patience to explain everything about the artifacts in adequate detail. It also requires a certain finesse to describe the importance of a particular coin in a way that is meaningful to an audience who are not numismatists. Sometimes those attempts to enthuse the general public about coins are successful, and sometimes they are not.

What has been the best about the internship? For me, the best thing about the internship has been spending time in the vault, sifting through the crates of coins to look for rare objects or ones with great stories. It feels like treasure hunting: you never know what to expect or what you are going to find. 

Internship portrait - Kevin Frigård

Education: Master’s Programme in the Humanities, specialising in archaeology, and classical culture and society.

What have you learnt? I have learnt how to handle archaeological material, through the whole process from newly excavated up to photographing the material - how the material should be treated so that it can be preserved for future generations, and the guidelines to be followed during photography, as well as how an object’s details are entered in a database.

What has been best about the internship? Getting to know Oscar, Emilia and Tova while playing cards over lunch has been relaxing. The opportunity to talk with visiting researchers and ask related questions about archaeological problems. To have the opportunity to work without being questioned about everything you do – but instead having the freedom of being trusted by one’s boss that the job will get done in the end.

Internship portrait - Tova Lindblad

Education: Master’s Programme in the Humanities, specialising in archaeology, and classical culture and society.

What have you learnt? I have learnt a lot through having my internship at Gustavianum. It’s a completely different thing to really come close to archaeological objects, rather than just reading about them theoretically. One gets a different level of understanding of the object and can get close to them and discover new things the whole time.

What has been best about the internship? Everything during the internship was fun and interesting, and a big plus has been the good atmosphere between us trainees and the other employees. One of the most enjoyable days during the internship was when we, quite unprepared, lifted out and photographed an Egyptian sarcophagus. That whole day was really enjoyable and challenging, and while we were photographing more and more new and exciting things came to light.

Internship portrait - Emilia Wall

Education: Master’s Programme in the Humanities, specialising in archaeology, and classical culture and society.

What have you learnt? During my internship at Gustavianum I have learnt so much more about working with archaeological material. Learning about the preservation of archaeological objects has been incredibly rewarding, giving me a better understanding about how important it is to be able to preserve material for the future. The work has been varied, including everything from Egyptian to Viking material, which has made it even more rewarding than I thought.

What has been best about the internship? The best thing about the internship was how varied it has been. It was so rewarding and interesting to learn more about Valsgärde and the other boat graves. However, the most fun thing has been to photograph and investigate an Egyptian sarcophagus, as well as searching for the Mummy’s head.

Internship portrait - Oscar Olsson

Education: Master’s Programme in the Humanities, specialising in archaeology, and classical culture and society.

What have you learnt? Seeing the day-to-day work ‘behind the scenes’ of a museum. Everything involved in creating a database about the objects, including building a bank of knowledge about them. Something that really struck me was that new discoveries can be made about objects when they are studied more closely through a camera lens – the new details that appear, and the importance of being able to interpret these in order to gain an increased understanding of the time period the object represents.

What has been best about the internship? That new, unexpected tasks, with objects from all kinds of time periods, could appear that lay outside the normal work. Above all, it has been great to work with the historical material itself, together with other students and researchers with different specialisms. In contrast to when one has a shorter period of group work in other studies, the internship is really great because one works more closely with fellow students during a longer period and have great fun together as a group.

Internship portrait – Ellen Ivarsson & Lina Sjöblom

Education program: Bachelor’s Programme in Archaeology and Ancient History, specializing in archaeology and osteology, respectively.

What have we learnt? Perhaps the thing that we have benefited most from, during and after our work experience period, was learning about archaeological work after the completion of field work. Through being shown part of the documentation from Valsgärde boat grave 5, which was excavated during the first half of the twentieth century, we have come to understand the importance of accurate documentation and systematic handling of finds. In addition, it has been impressive to see how  older excavation material can, in some cases, now be  re-examined and reinterpreted during the creation of digital databases and photography of finds, and how important it is during these processes to record details, both in words and images. It was also very enjoyable and educational to help dismantle the Valsgärde exhibition in preparation for the renovation of Gustavianum.

We have had the chance to meet other researchers and develop our network. Now we know what we would like to do in the future!

What was best about the work experience? Everything! But what has been most rewarding for us both was being so involved with Valsgärde, and that our supervisor encouraged our contributions and curiosity. From the first day, we were treated as employees rather than work experience students, and this forced us to take responsibility and work independently. The work has been very hands-on, something that really suits us!

Internship portrait - Cajsa Olausson

Education program: Master's program in the humanities specializing in classical archaeology and ancient history, UU.

What have you learned? It's hard to mention everything I've learned when it's so much! I have mainly been studying the Nubian collection, which consists of vases, leather objects and bones, and I have learned how to handle and digitize the material.

What has been the most fun during the internship? The most fun has been to take part during the packaging of the exhibition Mediterranean and Nile Valley. It was a lot of fun to handle and study objects so close and I now know how a mummy smells!