Automotive Design Oral History Access Project

Simmons Graduate Internship Program

The Archives and Library at The Henry Ford holds a collection of over 120 oral interviews conducted in the 1980s by Dave Crippen of The Henry Ford with noted automotive designers, engineers, modelers, and executives. Audio for the majority of the interviews still exists, and many of the transcripts were bound and are available for in-person research in the Benson Ford Research Center Reading Room. However, only 17 of the transcripts have been made routinely available in an electronic format and which are hosted on a University of Michigan Dearborn supported platform.

The Archives and Library seeks an intern to participate in an Automotive Design Oral History Access Project that will create a new online collection home for these oral histories using the Archives and Library’s existing DSpace platform.  As envisioned, the DSpace collection will contain a landing page for each interviewee, where the transcript (.pdf) and audio (.mp3) files can be accessed, along with a bibliography or subject guide document for the interviewee which could contain links to related content on The Henry Ford Digital Collections or other platforms.

Working with Archives and Library staff, and with support from our partners at DALNET, the intern will begin by creating the DSpace collection framework and then populating the collection with existing audio and transcript files. In a second phase, the intern will continue to add newly digitized transcripts produced by Archives and Library staff, create a bibliography / subject guide template, and then create those guide documents for a selected group interviewees.

The intern's duties will include:

  • Configuration of DSpace collection site
  • Population of DSpace site with collection data
  • Creation of a bibliography / subject guide template
  • Creation of subject guide documents
  • Meeting regularly with the Archives and Library team and other staff of The Henry Ford


At the conclusion of the internship, the intern will give a presentation to staff of The Henry Ford summarizing the project and providing a demonstration of the new collection site.

In addition to being currently enrolled in a graduate-level program with an archival or library focus, the student should:

  • Desire to gain experience with description and access of archival collections
  • Have interest in gaining experience with digital repositories and software
  • Possess strong writing and communication skills
  • Have reliable internet access

Additional desirable credentials:

  • Prior experience with DSpace or similar data repository application
  • Interest in automotive or industrial design, or the automotive industry