The NFSA welcomes applications for Internships which enable students from Australia and elsewhere to explore certain aspects of the NFSA’s collections, activities and preservation and curatorial processes. Interns come to one of the NFSA offices and work on a designated project for an agreed period, mentored by NFSA staff assigned to the Internship.

The NFSA has identified the following areas as high priorities for Internships:

Sound, Radio and Networked Media

Networked Media

Research and Development:

  • survey of World Wide Web harvesting tools (eg ArchiveIT, Heratrix)
  • testing digital curation tools and writing recommendations
  • testing the creation of Video Capture Software (to create walk-throughs/fly-throughs) – enabling recommendations to creators who supply this material
  • identifying gaps in the collection – doing research into what games or audiovisual online clips are worth archiving from the past decade or so
  • suggesting candidates for audiovisual clips and websites
  • suggesting file formats for preservation, such as mobile file formats (high degree of technical proficiency required)
  • content assessment of audiovisual clips already quality assessed.

General day-to-day work:

  • additional harvesting of websites
  • archiving audiovisual clips
  • improving catalogue records
  • skill-sharing HTML5, CSS, PHP.


The intern researches any of the following topics using radio recordings and related documentation and artefacts in the NFSA collection:

  • Survey what recordings of radio have survived up and til the end of the Second World War – detailing the technology used to record (or the copies that have survived).
  • Case study comparison between the technology used to record and broadcast a contemporary radio program with a program in a former era.
  • Compare a radio recording with a TV recording of the same subject or event.
  • Interpret the significance of the 3AW February 2009 Bushfire archive recordings and/or interpret the significance of bushfire radio reports in general.
  • Describe the significance of non-English speaking Australian radio recordings.
  • Describe the significance of Indigenous radio recordings.
  • Explore the history and society of a region through radio recordings.
  • Investigate the unusual subject matter, success and the intrigue surrounding the radio drama T-Men, a series written by Donovan Joyce about tax evasion. According to Richard Lane’s The Golden Age of Australian Radio Drama 1923-1960: A History Through Biography (1994, Melbourne University Press), it was so authentic 'that he became the object of scrutiny by the Commonwealth Police who wanted to know the source of his information’ and also that this series was `The first Donovan Joyce Radio Production ever submitted to the United States, [and] was sold to US networks and independent stations within a week of its arrival’.
  • Survey surviving examples of Women’s Sessions and detail their significance.
  • Identify radio recordings that illustrate aspects of the text by Bridget Griffen-Foley, Changing stations: the Story of Australian Commercial Radio (UNSW Press, Sydney).
  • Survey radio recordings that in some way relate to the Principal Research Themes in the Triennial Research Plan 2010-2013:
    • The Antarctic Expeditions of Sir Douglas Mawson (1911-13)
    • The Centenary of Canberra (1913-2013)
    • The Centenary of the First World War (1914-18) and the Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign (April 1915).
  • Social and Cultural Themes:
    • The development of Australian audiovisual culture
    • Race and Identity

Contact: Rod Butler

Preservation and Technical Services, Conservation, Preparation and Research

1. Closed Caption research
What are the NFSA’s obligations with regard to closed captions and what solutions exist that could help us meet those obligations?
Would suit: Media student.

2. DCP Workflows
Technical research required to support the development of DCP creation at the NFSA.
Would suit: Media student.

3. Training documentation for Mediaflex reports
Development of training documentation to enable managers to create and run crystal type reports from Mediaflex.
Would suit: Media student.

4. Tea as an aid to film preservation
To determine the effectiveness and viability of using tea leaves as a low-cost solvent in film preservation applications. The NFSA currently uses a molecular sieve as part of the preservation of actively deteriorating cellulose acetate-based films.
Would suit: Someone with an interest in preservation/conservation; chemistry knowledge a help but not essential.

5. Identification of decomposition byproducts on magnetic tape
Full analysis of decomposition byproducts that appear on magnetic tapes to enable targeted cleaning treatments to be developed.
Would suit: Chemistry student – 3rd Year undergrad/Honours/Masters.

6. Cleaning wax cylinders and discs
Develop a safe and effective cleaning regime for fragile wax based audio recordings.
Would suit: Someone with an interest in preservation/conservation; chemistry knowledge a help but not essential.

7. Recovering colour information from lenticular films
Develop a technique to reconstruct the full colour moving image from Kodacolor original films for preservation and access.
Would suit: Someone with an interest in preservation/conservation, chemistry knowledge a help but not essential; alternatively a film student interested in film technology.

8. Concentrations of airborne pollutants in storage vaults (oxides of nitrogen)
Develop a system for analysing the concentration of specific pollutants (eg nitrogen oxides) within the air inside collection storage vaults.
Would suit: Someone with an interest in environmental chemistry / preventative conservation / physical chemistry.

Contact: Matthew Davies

Film, Documents and Artefacts

Interns are invited to negotiate a project within the time frame nominated by their course structure in the following fields:

1. Research and analysis associated with assessment of newly acquired collections

2. Assisting curators with current collection management priorities

Contact: Gayle Lake