Soldiers & Sailors Internship

 

Soldiers & Sailors Internship

Museum Studies Intern at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum - Fall 2016

My museum internship for the Fall of 2016 was completed at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. Originally constructed in 1910 as a Civil War Veteran memorial, the institute is now a museum, dedicated to telling the story of the American soldier from all branches of services and eras. During my stay, I was a combined educational and curatorial intern working directly with staff member from these departments on a variety of tasks such as cataloging items donated by patrons from across the country, assisting the in preparation of educational tours, building and organizing a new shelving system, giving/brainstorming critical exhibition feedback, and my main project: initiating the reorganization of the museum’s library materials. After the museum librarian retired several years ago, all of the primary and secondary source material in the book collection was transferred from the third floor library, to a storage area on the ground floor. My task was to begin sorting through the materials where a previous volunteer had left off the in the summer of 2016. I categorized each book in the room according to subject matter: Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, General U.S. History etc., and using excel, created a record catalog of every item in the Civil War collection. This catalog tracked keywords of the book, object location, title, author, date, ISBN (international standard book number), and publisher. Items were arranged alphabetically by title, and into X sections: War of the Rebellion set, General History, Battle/Campaigns, Confederate Histories, Union Histories, Navy, Personal Memoirs/Diaries/Letters, Bibliographies, Regiment Units (by state), and a Pictorial History. For future work being done on the collection, I devised a series of documents including a task list, Reading Room Policy, design layouts, and notes for those who work on it after me. As the museum continues to work on getting museum grants, this catalog may be transferred over to PastPerfect software, where it will be more easily utilized and managed by staff. Overall the internship opportunity has helped me in developing my career based goals in archival type museum work, and the collaboration process both personally and professionally.

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