The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum (ITHF&M) established in 1954 at the Newport Casino, was originally named the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame, and was sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (known then as the USLTA). The first class was inducted in 1955, and through 1974 only Americans were enshrined. In 1975, Fred Perry became the first international tennis figure honored. In 1986, it was renamed the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame by the International Tennis Federation.
American tournament tennis began in 1881 in Newport, Rhode Island, more than 125 years ago, when the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships were played. This tournament, which evolved into today’s US Open, was played at the Newport Casino until 1915, after which it moved to Forest Hills, New York. Today, it is held in Queens, New York. However, Newport’s historic tennis tradition continues each summer when the Hall of Fame presents the only professional tennis tournament played on grass in the United States. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is truly distinguished from other sports museums because tennis is still played on the grounds and many historic champions have graced its beautiful grass courts.
The ITHF&M, housed in the historic Newport Casino which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, is an uncommon example of sporting excellence. The entire history of the sport, dating from the 12th century through today, is chronicled within its 18 galleries. The Museum encompasses more than 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, momentous videos, and popular memorabilia of tennis champions past and present.
The Museum’s permanent collection alone contains over 16,000 objects, including modern and historic tennis equipment, ephemera, memorabilia from Hall of Famers, trophies, textiles, and fine and decorative arts. The Museum’s Information Research Center (IRC) houses 5,000 books, over 3,000 tapes and films, more than 250,000 photo images, and an abundant collection of magazines, programs, periodicals, and archives.
The ITHF&M is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of tennis and its impact on our culture, as well as the history of the Newport Casino. The Museum accomplishes these goals by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a diverse audience. The Museum also celebrates those persons who have exceptional records or who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.
Interning at the ITHF&M is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to obtain comprehensive training in the fields of museum studies, archival administration, library management, educational and public program development, preservation, video production, and historical scholarship. The internship program is project-oriented and designed to coincide with student interests and professional goals. Working with a member of the museum staff, all interns receive one-on-one attention in their chosen fields. Internships are almost always available in the following areas:
Interns assist the staff in ensuring the professional management and organization of the museum’s permanent collection. Interns learn standard collections management practices used to document artifacts and assist in proper cataloging, inventory, photographic documentation, and storage. Interns assist in processing incoming and outgoing loans. Interns help in researching exhibit themes, preparing for installation and de-installation, and aid in the rotation of artifacts in the permanent exhibitions.
Information Research Center (IRC)
Archives & Library
Interns assist the staff in evaluating, arranging, describing, and processing archival collections. Collections include individual papers, correspondence, institutional records, scrapbooks, and other tennis ephemera. Interns process, catalog, and organize archival collections, including developing finding aids. Interns also help develop and implement proper storage procedures and provide preventive conservation measures. Finally, interns assist in developing a records management program and records retention schedule for the Museum’s institutional records.
Interns work with the staff in evaluating, arranging, describing, and cataloguing the photograph collection. The photo collection contains approximately 250,000 images documenting the Newport Casino, the city of Newport, tennis at the Newport Casino, Hall of Famers and other significant players, and other miscellaneous tennis subjects and venues. Interns assist with fulfilling reference and research requests, re-housing of the collection, and researching certain images for historical information and copyright purposes. In addition, interns assist the staff in cataloguing and conducting preservation assessments of the collection.
Audio Visual Archives
Interns work with the staff in reviewing and cataloging the collection of historic tennis matches and tennis related video in various formats. Additional opportunities include the inspection and preservation of film elements, research on content and copyright issues, and the creation of access copies of collection assets. Interns help in customer service and the licensing of moving images. The IRC is undertaking the digitization of its videotape assets, providing an intern with the opportunity to develop technical skills in this area and assist in developing best practices for this process.
The Museum contains architectural documents pertaining to the Newport Casino and its activities including architectural plans, correspondence, and assorted ephemera. Interns assist the staff in organizing those files and making them available for researchers. This internship is geared towards architecture students interested in architectural history and working with primary documents.
Education and Public Programs
Interns assist in the planning and implementation of programs for all audiences including schools. Interns gain experience researching and creating programs tied state and National Curriculum Standards. Possible areas of program development include history, social studies, math, science, art, physical education and health. Interns assist in facilitating school and group tours, and create new ideas for public and family programming. Interns also play a role in research and outreach to area schools, groups and attractions. Interns spend time as part of the front line staff, giving tours and interacting with visitors to develop customer service and public speaking skills.
Internships are open to college juniors and seniors and graduate students and are available all year round. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum asks a commitment of at least 100 hours (8 hours a week) although accommodations can be made for certain situations. Positions are competitive and interviews will be requested of qualified candidates. The number of interns varies per semester depending on the availability of projects. Every effort will be made to match the skills and interests of the prospective interns with the priorities of the department. General deadlines for submission of an application are as follows: Fall Semester internship (July 31st); Winter/Spring Semester (November 30th); Summer (March 31st).
A completed application includes the following:
- A one-page statement describing your reasons for pursuing an internship at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and what you hope to accomplish.
- A resume outlining your educational and professional experiences, including a list of relevant courses.
- Two letters of recommendation from current or past professors and/or employers.
For a PDF version of Internship Information, click here.
Please send your complete application to:
Curator of Collections
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
194 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840