Holocaust Center: Looking at Tragedy Through a Local Lens

Public Library section in the Holocaust Center where students are welcome to learn in a safe environment. This is where most of my research was done during my time at the center.

 

Holocaust Center: Looking at Tragedy Through a Local Lens

Museum Studies Intern at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh – Fall 2019

My internship at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh offered me a chance to delve into the deep-rooted history of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community with the guidance of professionals working at the center. The Center gave me the opportunity to gain experience in a new field, along with teaching me the importance of educating the public about a sensitive subject such as the Holocaust. With the help of the Center’s Library and Education Associate Ryan Woodward, I was able to dig into the Center’s extensive archive and library system. My main job was to keep the collection up to date. I conducted research on not only the books and artifacts, but also their context. Much of this included looking through memoirs written about the Holocaust which also allowed me to get familiar with the library’s systems.

One of the most rewarding jobs I had at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh was working on an upcoming exhibit. The exhibit will showcase personal perspectives on refugees who fled the Holocaust and settled in Pittsburgh. Using primary sources including biographies, interviews, and transcripts, I compiled a list of specific people or families in Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community and researched their lives before the Holocaust leading up to their process to come to Pittsburgh while also displaying the lives they set up for themselves in Pittsburgh. This research will be used in the Spring exhibit in cards given to visitors that take them on the step-by-stem journey of individual survivors using the data I collected. This research allowed me to put into perspective the lives of local survivors overcoming oppression to lead a new life in Pittsburgh. I found many instances of these survivors becoming a part of communities that worked to make the immigration process smoother when transitioning to their new life. By creating an engagement with the history of the Holocaust and viewing it through a local lens I was able to create a connection with injustices that are happening in our own backyard.

Categories: 
  • Academic Interns
  • Undergraduate Work
  • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh