Digital Archives Developer Intern

Title: Digital Archives Developer Intern
Division / Dept. : Library Information Technology & Digital Scholarship/ DLDC
Reports to: Programming Specialist
Work Schedule: up to 37.5 hours per week, summer term position

Student positions at the University of Chicago Library are available only to University of Chicago students.

General Summary

The Digital Archives Developer Interns will assist in meeting the need to efficiently preserve and contextualize email attachments, which are often significant documents in a large range of proprietary and obsolete formats. The interns will participate in the core development phase of the project to create an ‘Attachment Converter’ utility that will take command line conversion tools and use them to batch convert attachments in an email collection into recommended formats for digital preservation, then pack the attachments back into the original emails, so that the original collection, plus the converted attachments, can be read in a standard mail viewer . A prototype of the software is currently being built in OCaml, a statically typed functional language that is especially well suited to writing performant UNIX applications.

The intern positions are funded by a Mellon grant awarded to The University of Chicago Library through the Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community project at the University of Illinois to develop this application.


In collaboration with the Programming Specialist, the intern will:

  • Develop the preliminary version of the app, currently in development, into a more mature version that performs some predetermined, hard-wired set of file format conversions that we know in advance we are in a position to perform.
  • Spec out Attachment Converter to work not just on single emails but on entire mailboxes.
  • Test it out on the available email backups that have been accessioned into our archives.
  • Profile the software for speed/performance and note any issues that arise.
  • Write up documentation that explains in detail how to install, uninstall, and use Attachment Converter.
  • Time permitting, configure the software to perform additional conversions identified by the intern, if software is available to perform those conversions.


  • Enrollment in the University of Chicago’s Masters in Computer Science Program. Applications from advanced third and fourth-year undergraduates who have experience with functional programming will also be considered.
  • Familiarity with a pure statically-typed functional language like Haskell, OCaml, Idris, F#, or Elm preferred, but not required.
  • Sensitivity to issues of privacy and confidentiality in dealing with restricted archival and manuscript material, required.
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively with others required.

To Apply

Students interested in working for the library can apply online via our Library Student Employment Application and email send your Resume or CV to Matt Teichman. This position will remain open until filled.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or status as an individual with disability.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact Human Resources at with their request.