Special Collections practicum student Tess Will - Blog Post #4

While my semester is nearing its end, I still have a few more weeks to squeeze in the last bit of work on the Evans’s letters! When I last checked in, I had just begun my work with the Anchram H. and Elizabeth K. Evans Civil War Letters collection.

As a recap, this collection mostly comprises correspondence between Anchram and Elizabeth Evans during Anchram’s time in the army during the Civil War. The Evans lived in Brunswick County in a small town named Town Creek and were a farming family before and after the war. From what I gathered from the letters and some brief research on Ancestry.com, Elizabeth and Anchram got married in February of 1861 when she was just 16 and he was 22. Marriage at a young age was much more common in the nineteenth century, but it still blows my mind to think about how young Elizabeth was. Anchram enlisted in the army in early 1862, and the couple had their first daughter in October of the same year. From what I could put together from the letters, it seemed like Elizabeth lived with Anchram’s family while he was away.

            I was assigned several tasks for this collection, but I began by reviewing their letters for content related to yellow fever, notable Wilmington families, and information about life at the time. I did this by reviewing the existing transcripts and the letters themselves. Consulting both was necessary because the original transcripts weren’t quite reliable. Reading cursive handwriting on aging and damaged paper is very difficult, especially when dealing with spelling errors, unfamiliar turns of phrases, and references to unfamiliar people and places. By reading every letter, I could put together information for what became the scope and content notes for the finding aid. For this collection, I provided a very brief description of every letter that will hopefully lead researchers to the collection. This is called “Item Level Description,” and it is not performed for every archival collection because it is a very time-consuming task.

            Reading through the collection helped me form a better picture of the Evans family and their lives, and it helped immensely with reorganizing. For the most part, there was not much to be done to reorganize the collection because they would be kept in chronological order, but there were a number that were either undated, partially dated, or even dated incorrectly. By being familiar with the letters' content, I could help ascribe dates to those partially dated or correct those that weren’t quite right. While my practicum is technically just about complete, I should have time to wrap up the collection before the semester ends and I graduate! As I type this blog post, the finding aid is live on Randall Library’s website and can be accessed by researchers. I hope I will have time to digitize the letters in the collection, as they are quite fragile. By providing digital copies online, the collection will be available to a wider range of researchers and reduce the time they have to be pulled for onsite researchers, extending their lives in the archive.

            This semester, I’ve learned a lot and honed many important skills, including my attention to detail. I only spent ten hours a week in Special Collections, so it was important to be organized and leave myself notes on what I completed the week prior and what to start on for the next week. Making mistakes in a workplace that deals with many moving pieces is very easy. I’ve caught mistakes from previous archive staff in my collections and made a few myself, but I catch them when I can and fix them. If I can’t fix them or need assistance, I seek support from my supervisors. I haven't been afraid to ask for help for a long time, and I think I would advise everyone to work on that.

            As for my learning goals for the semester, I think I’ve made substantial progress in them all. I feel more comfortable working with ArchivesSpace and feel that I could use these skills to navigate other types of cataloging software for archives or museums. I’ve also engaged with many professional texts thanks to the readings put together by my supervisors. I read a number of articles and book chapters on all sorts of topics, including climate change, copyright, digitization, outreach, and more! I believe I also made progress in working to identify and eliminate archival silences. For example, while reading the Evans’s letters, I was able to identify a letter that referenced the transfer of three enslaved persons from father to son. While I can’t tell their stories or even record their names, I am happy to bring them to light, even if it's just in the scope notes of my finding aid. I still can’t believe how quickly this semester has gone by but I am proud of what I have accomplished. I hope that my work will be helpful to future researchers and inspires others to join a field that brings me so much joy. 

            Well, I guess this is farewell for now. I’ve got more work to do!

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Special Collections practicum student Tess Will - Blog Post #3

Last week, I said goodbye to Dr. Samuel Mendelsohn and his wonderful collection. Sometimes in life, things do not go to plan, and I can say with certainty that was the case with Dr. Mendelsohn’s collection. I mentioned in my last blog post that attention to detail is critical to the work of an archivist, and MS 058 surely required a careful eye.


Since my last update, I have scanned over 500 pages of Dr. Mendelsohn’s sermons, lectures, addresses, and more. Digitization is something I am quite familiar with, having worked previously under Digital Initiatives here at Randall Library. I find the process of scanning to be meditative in a way! I am performing a function that will create better access to a collection, but I can also listen to music or audiobooks as I do so. As a grad student, I’ll take any peaceful moment I can get! Unfortunately, Scanning MS 058 took me much longer than anticipated because of how the original scans were ordered. From what I was able to piece together, it appears that most of the original scans were organized entirely chronologically rather than in their series groups and then chronologically within their series. This was further complicated because the files were not named in a way that identified them. So, that meant I first had to spend a lot of time noting what digital file corresponded to each physical file in the collection. This became complicated when I realized they were not ordered the same way as their record in ArchivesSpace.


Imagine Dr. Mendelsohn’s collection is physically and digitally organized in ArchivesSpace in the example below:


Sermon A - Box 1, Folder 1

Sermon B - Box 1, Folder 2

Sermon C - Box 1, Folder 3

Sermon D - Box 1, Folder 4


Address A - Box 2, Folder 1

Address B - Box 2, Folder 2

Address C - Box 2, Folder 3



BUT, it turns out that the digital files were organized like this:


Sermon A - Box 1, Folder 1

Sermon B - Box 1, Folder 2

Sermon C - Box 1, Folder 3

Lecture G - Box 3, Folder 24

Lecture H - Box 3, Folder 25

Sermon D - Box 1, Folder 4




Then, imagine that they were not actually named as suggested above but actually look like the following:









Since they didn’t quite follow the order in ArchivesSpace, it required me to open each digital file and compare them with the contents of their physical file to ensure I was rescanning the correct document. If I had not, I would have rescanned the wrong files, and when they were reuploaded into ArchivesSpace, the incorrect scan would have been linked to the digital record.


Did that make sense?... Yeah, it took me a while to wrap my brain around too.


Some other minor organizational issues appeared during my work with Dr. Mendelsohn’s collection, but I believe it has all been resolved. Even if I made an error, I feel better knowing that the collection is now in better shape so that researchers can easily find what they need, even if they don’t physically visit Special Collections. After scanning, the digital files were uploaded and assigned to the correct archival record. I then completed the final details on the finding aid, and 058 was done!


I got right to work on my new collection, MS 254 Anchram and Elizabeth Evans Civil War Letters. I am reviewing this collection for correctness of order, interesting content (related to life in Wilmington, notable figures, and yellow fever), and duplicated transcriptions. After my review, I will work on transferring the transcriptions of the letters, done originally by Evans’s grandson(!), from .html format to .doc and eventually into .pdf. Then I will carefully rescan each delicate document and attach the transcript to the scanned document so all the digital files will be in one place.


I have just begun my initial review of MS 254, and during this process, I am checking that the physical files are in the correct chronological order. At the same time, I am replacing the old plastic protectors that the letters were in with archival-grade sleeves. I’ve already found a few letters that were folded to fit in the letter-size folder, which is definitely not ideal for maintaining their physical condition. Leaving documents folded creates points of weakness and stress on the document, which can adversely affect their life within the archive.


My next blog post will be the final one before the semester ends and I graduate! I look forward to updating you all on my practicum experience then.

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Special Collections practicum student Tess Will - Blog Post #2

Time flies when you're having fun! Over the course of the last month, I have worked closely with MS 058 Rabbi Samuel Mendelsohn Papers. This collection was donated back in 1989 by the Temple of Israel and had been previously processed. Since its merge into ArchiveSpace, some data needed to be reviewed and updated for accuracy. The collection also required new archival-grade folders in order to best preserve the papers within. Because most of the intellectual work was already completed, it has been my duty to pay close attention to the details to ensure everything is in tip-top shape! To be fair, Dr. Mendelsohn made it much easier for us because he labeled each of his manuscripts with a designation (sermon, lecture, address, etc.) that became the series in which the collection is organized.

My first duty was to physically rearrange the collection to make sure it matched the record in ArchiveSpace. While I did that, I typed up brand new labels, which will be attached to the new folders. The document I produced for the labels has also had the added benefit of acting as a quick reference list for the contents of the collections without having to go into ArchiveSpace, which can take a bit longer to peruse. After this, I replaced the old folders with new acid-free folders, which are used broadly across archives and museums to keep documents safe. It is a very simple act but can extend the life and usability of a record by many years. As strange as it may sound, this is typically one of my favorite parts of the process, not just because it helps the object but is one of the only times I will get to engage with every object. I found it so cool that Dr. Mendelsohn wrote on ruled paper in the 1870s, just as we do today!

After replacing the folders, I carefully updated the finding aid to make sure the names were correctly reflected, and then updated the main collection fields in ArchiveSpace to make sure the finding aid was as complete as possible. Much of archival work is detail-oriented, which is certainly a skill I have honed during my internship here. I certainly used this skill as I reviewed scans of the over 200 objects within the collection to check for imperfections and made notes of which ones would need to be rescanned. I will start rescanning the documents soon!

Overall, I have begun to make progress in meeting my learning goals for my practicum. I am becoming more familiar with ArchivesSpace through careful combing of data. I have engaged with many new professional texts that have reinforced basic archival principles, such as provenance and original order, but also have increased my knowledge of current professional discourse within the archival community. This relates to my last goal: to become more aware of archival silences. I recently read "Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices" by Lae'l Hughes-Watkins which discussed why archives need to reexamine their collections, collecting practices, and their relationship with their communities. Hughes-Watkins identifies archives (and other institutions of higher learning) as places that have contributed to oppressive archival practices that contributed to archival silences.

Through engaging with that text and others like UNC Chapel Hill's "A Guide to Conscious Editing at Wilson Special Collections Library," I am becoming more aware of how I can help erase silences and strive for a more inclusive archive. This does not just mean changing collecting missions, but also the way we talk and write about collections. In reference to Dr. Mendelsohn's collection, reading "Removing the Invisible Norm of Protestant Christianity" in "A Guide to Conscious Editing" revealed the way that our vocabulary is inherently influenced by Protestant Christianity. Being aware of verbiage and how I describe collections can help me better represent existing collections and start to eliminate silences within the archive.

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Meet Special Collections Practicum Student, Tess Will

Hello! My name is Tess Will, and I am a master's student at UNCW in the Public History Department. For my last year of graduate school, I have been a Processing Intern here in Special Collections at Randall Library, where I am learning archival processing methods, engaging with professional texts in the field, and learning lots of new skills! I have been working in museums, libraries, and archives for over five years, starting when I was an undergraduate student at East Carolina University. As a history major at ECU, I was first introduced to the world of archives and museums through my own historical research, where I became enamored with the "stuff" of history. While I loved the research, I found myself drawn to the care and management of historical archives and artifacts, which led me to pursue a minor in public history. My first public history position was as a tour guide at the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey, North Carolina, where I interpreted medical history to the public and dipped my toes into collections care. Before I graduated, I was lucky enough to work as an intern in the History Collections of Laupus Library and as a State of North Carolina Intern at the Queen Anne's Revenge Conservation Lab.

 I chose to pursue a graduate degree in public history because it encompassed the fields that I love and would prepare me for a variety of different positions. I was thrilled when I was accepted into the program here at UNCW because of Wilmington's rich (though at times difficult) history and the many cultural/historical institutions I could engage with while a master's student. Something I found important in a master's program was an emphasis on practical experience, and UNCW had just that. Students in the public history program are required to complete a practicum as one of their final credits to graduate, and I was lucky enough to do that work here in Special Collections!

During my time here at UNCW and in Wilmington, I have learned a lot about caring for the past, both physically and intellectually. I love my position here in Special Collections because of the skills and competencies I have learned, but I also find the work to be incredibly fulfilling. I enjoy creating order from chaos and making the past accessible to researchers and the public alike through my work. During the course of my practicum, I hope to accomplish the following goals:

  1. ArchivesSpace: As I continue my work here in Special Collections, I would like to become more familiar with our software ArchivesSpace. Data entry and navigating different types of software are incredibly important in the positions I hope to find myself gainfully employed! I would like to become more competent with different aspects of ArchivesSpace because it is a commonly used software in many archives and libraries.
  2. Engage More with Professional Texts: As a public history student, I have become very well-rounded but lack the specialized training that archivists and librarians get while completing degrees in Library Science. As a part of my practicum, I will be reading and discussing texts as assigned by my practicum supervisor (Thank you, Nicole!). I hope that this work, built upon readings I completed last fall, will help me be better prepared for a potential position in an archive.
  3. Be More Aware of Archival Silences: Archives and museum collections to this day are overwhelmingly filled with the voices of the wealthy, white, educated elite. As a public history professional and (hopefully!) future archivist or collections manager, I want to continue the work started by others and become more aware of how to make collections more equitable. I hope to join the good work of erasing the silences within archives.

Upon graduating in May, I hope to gain a full-time position as an Archivist, Collections Manager, or Registrar. In these positions, I would be able to interact with the "stuff" of history daily through careful care and organization. I look forward to spending my last months of graduate school here in Special Collections and can't wait to see what I learn next!

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Special Collections Spring Intern

My name is Darby Freeman. I am a senior at UNCW studying English Literature and Philosophy. I have worked at the Randall Library circulation desk for just over two years and began an internship in the Special Collections department at the beginning of this semester.

I was first introduced to Special Collections by a professor who took our class to the department after assigning a lengthy research paper. We did an activity that involved stringing together events to form a cohesive narrative. I thought it was cool to watch a story reveal itself as we went through all of these different types of literature, written by unaffiliated groups, that came from a variety of locations.

I have always enjoyed my job at the circulation desk because I love being around books and literature. I handle books daily, whether I’m checking them in or out, collecting them for patron holds, or reshelving them. This has led me to discover many fascinating books that I otherwise would’ve never encountered, be it fictional, historical, or theoretical. When I first heard about the internship in Special Collections, it felt perfect for me. It’s like taking the job I already knew I loved and making it more interesting and in-depth. Since beginning work at the library, I’ve been curious about a career as a librarian or archivist, and by working in Special Collections I have an opportunity to try out archival work and see if I enjoy it (spoiler alert: I do).

My job as an intern in Special Collections is to document, process, and arrange collections either purchased by or donated to the department. Processing involves documenting and researching the topics and historical context of the collection. After the initial documentation and research, I arrange the collection, which entails organizing the materials in a way that promotes understanding and accessibility. The arrangement is vitally important to the integrity of the collection; if related materials are separated from each other, it is harder to understand the context of the collection as a whole. Archivists are basically the gatekeepers of history, so it is imperative that they accurately represent the contents of a collection and provide any necessary context to encourage more thorough understanding.

So far, I have worked on The Camera Shop Records, Virginia Harriss Holland World War II Memorabilia, and H.J. Southwell Murder Correspondence. It’s been interesting reading about history that happened only a couple of blocks from where I currently live. Some were easy to research, like the H.J. Southwell Murder Correspondence, which had significant news coverage that spanned nationwide. The Camera Shop Records, however, was more difficult because most of the information about the owner could only be found in his obituary. I enjoyed both collections.

This work requires that the processer be detail-oriented and exercise critical thinking skills in their assessment of the collection. I had some exposure to these skills prior to beginning the internship, but I’ve never had an environment quite like this to test them. Since starting the internship, I have gained a better understanding of what it means to be detail-oriented towards something completely unfamiliar to you. Additionally, my analytical and critical thinking abilities have been tested in ways they previously never were. Normally, I analyze a text, and use critical thinking skills to extract meaning, and then scan for details to support my thoughts. Special Collections processing feels like the reverse. I have to pay attention to every detail so that when I’m thinking critically and analytically, I am able to piece together the fragments of history present in a collection.

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Museum of World Cultures Internship Reflection

Throughout the course of the semester, I have had an amazing opportunity to research and handle various artifacts from Pre- Hispanic Mexican cultures. I worked with figures from Veracruz, Colima, and the Chupicuaro culture, as well as village scenes and hollow figures from Jalisco. I was able to gain hands on experience handling and critically evaluating artifacts for damage and unique characteristics. Then, I recorded my observations in the artifacts’ catalog records in PastPerfect, updating the description and condition fields of each record. This work provided me with a glimpse into the technicalities of keeping good museum records. I now have a deeper appreciation for the amount of work and time it takes to properly care for and store artifacts.

Along with observing the artifacts to enhance the catalog records, I completed research to supplement their cultural history. This information was used to create a digital exhibit with the tool, Esri Story Maps. I incorporated information from the accession records, catalog records, and information gathered through my research to provide an interactive visual for individuals to engage with.




The digital exhibit includes images of each artifact and provides a descriptive overview of its background and possible uses.  A major challenged that I faced while creating the exhibit and gathering information was the lack of contextual information for many of the artifacts. These artifacts were donated years ago and their original context has been lost over time. This is crucial for ethnographic artifacts because modern day scholars identify their purpose and significance through provenance and location of discovery.

Overall, this invaluable experience taught me new skills involving museum curation and digital design. This internship allowed me to connect my passion for anthropology to my passion for Communication by providing a platform for other individuals passionate about the history of humanity to get involved.   

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An Intern's Reflections

The curtains are about to fall on my time here in the Special Collections department of Randall Library at UNCW. It feels like it wasn’t that long ago that I sent the email to Miss. Rebecca that asked if I could do an internship here for the summer. That was the email that would officially begin my road towards achieving my dream of becoming an archivist. I have spent almost two months in this department honing my budding skills and gathering the professional experience that I was sorely lacking. To reach the next level from part-time grocery clerk and graduate student to the Archival version of the Jedi Padawan. Those two months have been one of the greatest experiences in my entire graduate career. 

I was like the excited, energetic little kid that was walking through an amusement park. From the first collection I processed to the last, I was journeying through and learning about a multitude of different subjects and topics that range from the theatre to environmentalism to World War II and more. You get to learn a universal amount of topics, which is one of my favorite things about the archival field. It is one of the things that attracts me to the career. From different topics to careers/fields to an individual’s personal story, I could practically learn about a host of things that come together to create our world. A world that I could access at any time either from the comfort of my office desk or taking a short stroll to the archival storage area to pull out a collection box. Overall, becoming a resident of a realm where having a detail-oriented mindset, the endless thirst for knowledge, and an unwavering passion for a field that you worked so hard to be a part of is a goal that I am now more determined than ever to see come to fruition.

With these qualities that will help mold me into the archivist that I want to be, I processed three collections in total with a “go get them, wake up, get up, get out there” attitude. The very first collection that I got to work with and process was the Steve E. Cooper Collection, who is a resident playwright who mainly wrote scripts that focus on LGBT rights. This collection was made up of ten scripts in total, which includes the Lambda Series, Aladdin, Think of Me in January, etc. It was both a fun and exciting first collection to ease me into the world of archiving. 

The second collection that I got to process was a bit of a doozy, which put my attention-to-detail mindset to the test. It was the Lena Ritter Papers. She was an environmental activist who relentlessly worked hard to protect the coast of North Carolina, including Stump Sound and Permuda Island. I was meticulous in making sure that all of those newspaper clippings, letters, copies, etc. were where they were supposed to be. I’ll admit, there were times where I was becoming a bit paranoid in making sure that this collection was not only chronologically arranged, but also in making sure that it was virtually clean of rusty staples and paper clippings. I can definitely say with confidence that this is the collection that I learned the most about archival work from. 

Finally, the last collection that I processed was probably my favorite collection out of the three that I got to work with. It was the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company Collection, which is a collection that tells the story of a Wilmington shipyard that was built for the purpose of building naval war ships for World War II. Not only did it include a historical document that was written up in 1945, a map, and two printing plates, but it also includes a variety of photographs that are of the shipyard, as well. Among these photographs were photos of the different ships that the NCSC built, which includes the Zebulon B. Vance. This ship was not only the first ship to be launched from the shipyard, but was also christened by Alice Broughton, who was the wife of North Carolina Governor, Joseph Melville Broughton. I also got to put the skills to use I learned from obtaining my history degree by conducting a lot of research for the historical background notes for this collection, which was a lot of fun. It was like doing journalism work to uncover the truth.  The truth can’t hide for long when this future archivist is on the case!

All three of these collections come together to create that coveted professional experience that I have so desperately been looking for. An experience that has both enhanced and given skills that will prove to be valuable allies in my quest to acquire the Holy Grail that is an archiving career. Of these skills, the ones that I am the most happy to learn are the ability to work with different archival technologies and the ability to familiarize myself with different arrangements that are used to organize collections physically and logically. For the latter, what I mean by that is that there is a big difference between arranging collections physically for storage and arranging them in a digital setting that allows researchers to specifically find what they are looking for. I learned this from processing the Ritter Collection. I was struggling to grasp this at first, but after I took my time and exercised patience, I eventually understood this skill.

That was one of the challenges that I faced in this internship. Like everything else in life, there is no such thing as a completely smooth road. You will encounter a few speed bumps or potholes along the way, which is what I did. The biggest challenges that faced me in this internship were maintaining a “patience is a virtue” attitude and swallowing my pride to ask for assistance for what I perceived to be issues that I felt I should have been able to resolve myself. I have a perfectionist mindset, which means that everything I do in a job has to be absolutely perfect. There can be no room for mistakes. If I make even one slip up, no matter how big or small that slip up may be, then I criticize myself. To say that I have high expectations of myself would be an understatement.

The way I handled it is that I keep remembering the fact that I am only human. I am supposed to make mistakes, which help me become a better archivist. There are going to be instances where I am not going to know how to resolve every issue. There is no such thing as an individual who virtually knows everything. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. When you ask somebody for help, you are also helping the researcher who is looking for information, as well. It hurts the researcher when you do not ask for assistance from your fellow archivists. Overall, I took it slow and got in the mindset to ask for help when I needed, which was how I overcame the challenges that came up during the internship.

These challenges did not put a damper on my perception of both this internship and libraries as a whole. Before I even began this internship, my initial perception was that the library is an information powerhouse that allows researchers to not only look for information in peace, but also to meet up with their fellow colleagues to exchange ideas. This internship not only bolstered that perception, but it has also changed it a little bit, as well. Now I perceive libraries as a community center where not only different departments can come together to exchange ideas, but also the entire town as a whole. There are almost no rooms in a library that are isolated in a back corner and hidden from the public. There were a couple of instances where I witnessed a few guests visit the Special Collections department to look through the vast treasure of collections that the department has. That further proves that both the Special Collections department and the library as a whole aim to continue fostering a strong relationship with the community that they reside in. It has made me want to be a part of that effort

Ultimately, I had a wonderful and enrichening experience here in the Special Collections department. I was finally able to put the knowledge that I have been gaining from my master’s program to practical use, which is one of the things that I am most happy about. I was able to create and build connections here that will last long after I leave. This will be an experience that will be a great resource for me to glean from as I eventually begin an archiving career of my own. It will also be an experience that I will never forget. I would like to thank both Miss. Rebecca Baugnon and Miss. Nicole Yatsonsky for taking me on as an intern in Special Collections. I also would like to thank everybody on campus, as well as the community of Wilmington, for showing me that awesome Seahawk hospitality. Thank you everybody and enjoy the rest of not just this summer, but the rest of the year, as well.

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New Intern in Special Collections

Greetings and salutations. Please allow me this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Gavin Nelson. I am an intern doing a summer internship here at UNCW as part of a course I am taking in my university’s master’s program. Before I began my adventure into the world of libraries, I went to Western Carolina University for four years. It was there that I got a Bachelors  of Science in History, as well as two minors in Japanese and Business Law. I chose history as my field  of specialty because I have always been fascinated with the past, which I believe can play a tremendous role in helping us forge a great future. It is also like reading through one big storybook that is filled with tales of adventure, excitement, and more.  Specifically, my favorite subjects of history include Asian history, European history, and Military history.

After I graduated from WCU, I decided that I want to use that degree to become a “gatekeeper of information,” as my dad put it. I felt a desire to work with a vast variety of data and information for the purpose of sharing wonderful and amazing stories with my community. Towards that end, I officially made the decision to open the door and step through into the world of library and information studies. I began my journey towards my destiny by entering a master’s program that is offered by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Not only have I been in the program since 2018, but I also just finished my third semester of the program. I officially have only one more semester left before I graduate with a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies. It won’t be long before I can say the iconic line that Howard Wolowitz from Big Bang Theory said, which was “I have a master’s degree!” With that degree, I plan to go into the field of archiving, which is the dream career that I am diligently working towards.  This internship is going to help me get that coveted professional experience that will help achieve that dream.

Outside of my studies, I do have some favorite pastime activities that help me  relax and reenergize. My most favorite activities to partake in are playing video-games, watching crime documentaries and crime shows, and watching video-game let’s plays and streams on YouTube.  I think of them as a temporary escape from reality whenever I need to get rid of stress and unwind. 

For this internship, there are some goals, both personal and professional, that I would like to accomplish. The goals that I am aiming to accomplish are the following:

Professional Goals:

  1. Digitization. I would like to really learn about the process of digitizing archival materials and sharing them in the cyber realm. I strongly believe that technology is going to have a major impact on how archives are going to be run. I would like to get ahead of it and learn these technological skills now so that I won’t be playing catch-up later.
  2. Acquire professional experience working with archival materials.  I would like to get experience acquiring, processing, arranging, preserving, and sharing archival materials. It is actually one of the big reasons why I am doing this internship. Up until this point, I have yet to gain any library experience. This internship will be a tremendous help in accomplishing this goal.
  3. Explore the relationship that the archives department has with the rest of the academic community. I am thinking about working in an academic library, and I am interested in seeing for myself how the Special Collections department interacts with the academic community.

Personal Goals:

  1. Finally acquire some real library experience. As I previously mentioned, I have yet to accumulate any ounce of library experience. I recently tried to apply for a library job, but that didn’t go through. It was mainly because I wasn’t exposed to customer service, which involves working with my community. I was determined to do something about it. I decided to get a part-time job at my local grocery store, which involves interacting with the public on a daily basis.  That is the job that I currently have now, but it is not the dream job that I want to have. This internship will give me that much-needed experience that will help me land that dream job.
  2. Have fun! I personally believe that if you want to be successful at any job that you do, you have to have fun. You need to be happy! Joyful!  Enthusiastic! Have a “Boot-Scooting Boogie” attitude that makes others laugh and want to join in on the fun and excitement! At my current job, I always try to have fun and party like a wild, party animal! It is what makes my guest love me! It was how I earned the title of Employee of the Month. Overall, I am making it my mission to not only do my absolute best in this internship, but also to have big, bang, boogey woogey fun at the same time! Also, I am going to try to look good while doing it in my blue suede shoes!

All of the goals that I have listed are representatives of what I am hoping to gain from this awesome experience. I want to be exposed to the amusement park that is archives. I want to go on all of the gentle and thrill rides that make up the archival department. Afterwards, I want to share the awesome time that I have at this amusement park with everyone else. Personally, that is what I believe archives are all about.  Archivists acquire a wide variety of stories and experience them for themselves. Afterwards, they share this experience with their community and invite them to come experience these stories, as well.  That is what I would like to do when I eventually begin my future library career. That is what I am hoping to learn and experience through this internship. Each of the goals that I have listed will give me the tools that I need to get the most fun and experience out of the rollercoaster that will not just be this internship, but also my future library career as well.

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Updates from Special Collections and University Archives