Stipended Research Internship, Local or Remote (Spring 2023): Old North Illuminated, Boston

Catherine  Matthews's picture
November 1, 2022 to December 15, 2022
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


Position Description: 

Are you curious to learn more about the experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples and immigrant communities in twentieth-century Boston, Massachusetts? Are you interested in what the history of one of America’s best-known religious institutions reveals about the struggle for justice in the United States? 

If finding answers to the questions above interests you, we invite you to apply for a paid research internship with Old North Illuminated! As a research intern during the Spring semester (February-May 2023), you will conduct research in person here in Boston or virtually from wherever you live. The research intern will use primary source materials to learn more about people of color’s lives at the Old North Church and in Boston’s North End neighborhood from 1900 onward. Our research interns will play a critical role in helping us to prepare for Old North Church’s 300th anniversary in 2023!

The primary source materials you will need for this position are available through digital repositories. Research interns may also visit in-person archives, including the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Public Library. Please apply even if you do not have previous experience working with archival materials. You will receive guidance from our Director of Education and Research Fellow as you learn new ways to discover the past.  

Deliverables will include: 

  • Images of your sources
  • A list of your key findings
  • A blog post, research video, research podcast, or another public-facing project about your findings

Minimum Requirements: 

  • At least three years of college/university education, with a Social Sciences or Humanities major
  • Demonstrated interest in Black History, Indigenous History, Immigrant History, Gender Studies, or Religious Studies
  • Ability to work well with small groups
  • Ability to present research findings to a general audience

Position Type: 75 hours over 10 weeks in the Spring 2023 Semester

Stipend: $1250

How to apply: Send your cover letter and resume to Ms. Catherine Matthews, Director of Education, at Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Learn more about the history of Old North!

The enduring fame of Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert

Newman and vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple of Old North Church and held high

two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by

sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. Old

North Church is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and welcomes 150,000 visitors each year as

one of the Freedom Trail’s most visited historical sites.


Old North Church, built in 1723, sits at a paradoxical intersection of freedom and unfreedom. To many,

our steeple is an icon of American liberty and independence. Yet, the steeple (and the building itself)

was built with the proceeds of human trafficking, and early congregants who used Old North as a social

nexus enriched the church with wealth generated through the enslavement of Africans and their

descendants. Old North’s complicated past is a leading example of the complexity of our shared national

history and can shine a light on ways that historical events and institutions contribute to inequities that

persist today.


The Old North Illuminated (ONI) inspires active citizenship and courageous, compassionate leadership

by interpreting and preserving the Old North Church & Historic Site. Old North Illuminated serves a wide

audience by creating meaningful experiences through educational outreach, site-specific programming,

and historical analysis. Old North Illuminated of Boston, Inc. was established in 1991 as a 501(c)(3)

non-profit organization independent of Christ Church in the City of Boston (the Episcopal congregation of Old North Church). Learn more at


At Old North Illuminated, we believe that:

  • Bravery, patriotism, and active citizenship come in many forms. These acts can inspire both large-scale and local change. 
  • Education and respectful dialogue are key to building a more perfect union that reflects the promise of liberty and justice for all. 
  • Becoming an anti-racist organization will require active engagement with the legacy of slavery at the Old North Church and the ongoing burdens of slavery and racism in our country. 
  • By preserving and sharing history, space, and stories, we shape our future. 


Old North Illuminated is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search. 


Contact Info: 

Catherine Matthews, Director of Education, Old North Illuminated (formerly Old North Foundation)

Contact Email: