Spring 2020 Archives Internship Program Highlights

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 27, 2020

KSU undergraduate students complete hands-on internships in the Archives

The Archives was delighted to host three wonderful interns during the Spring 2020 semester. Tony Festa, Jessica Higgins, and Camilla Stegall each completed an internship as part of KSU’s Public History Certificate. Their projects allowed them to experience multiple aspects of archival work, such as processing new materials and working with digital collections and rare books. As with all our internships, we tailored each student’s curriculum to their academic and career interests.

Tony Festa (Junior, History) had the chance to apply his interest in European history by working with the Bentley Rare Book Museum's collection of medieval manuscripts. According to Tony, “learning about the various scripts and working with actual ancient documents was very illuminating.” He also spent time interpreting and analyzing historic newspapers from the seventeenth century and the eighteenth century and conducted research on a collection of French prayer books. While this would be considered a daunting task for any emerging scholar, our Special Collections Curator JoyEllen Williams reported that was Tony unfazed by these research challenges. In addition, he worked with our Processing Archivist Maggie Thomas to process the new Marietta City Schools collection and assisted Digital Archivist Alissa Helms by describing digital photographs from the Save Acworth History Foundation.

spring 2020 interns working
Jessica Higgins (Senior, History) had the opportunity to pursue an interest in digital archives by digitizing oral histories originally recorded on cassette tapes from the Mable House oral histories collection. She also worked with another intern, Camilla Stegall, to assist with processing the Georgia Marble Company records. Both Jessica and Camilla had previously conducted research in this collection as part of the Tate Depot interpretation project for Dr. Jennifer Dickey’s "Introduction to Public History" course last fall. They were able to put their knowledge of both the collection and the Georgia Marble company to use as they collaborated to create a processing plan for over 100 cubic feet of material, as well as to identify and arrange the collection's photographs. In addition, Jessica brought wordless novels to life during the Bentley Rare Book Museum’s Open House on "Art and Illustration.” She studied works by Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward and used images from their novels to prompt an insightful discussion about the history and significance of wordless novels.

Camilla Stegall (Junior, History) says “I found the Processing unit, especially our work with the Georgia Marble Company collection, to be incredibly interesting. I enjoyed being able to look at the different materials and arranging them for future researchers. It was useful to me in that it helped me understand the processes and theory behind processing. I am a hands-on worker and being able to interact with things helped me understand the underlying theories.” In addition to the Georgia Marble records, Camilla gained experience with digital formats by creating metadata describing a set of floppy discs from the records of Southern Polytechnic State University. Her interest in American women writers inspired her to develop an engaging and popular Bentley Open House program. During the program, she presented on Emily Dickinson, Willa Cather, and Louisa May Alcott and helped craft a hands-on activity based on Dickinson's poetry manuscripts. According to Camilla, participating in the open house program was “helpful in developing my public speaking skills. […] After I learned how to research and prepare for the open houses, I felt much more capable of doing them in the future.”

A round of applause for our Spring 2020 interns!

If you are interested in a future internship for course credit with the KSU Archives and Special Collections, please contact archives@kennesaw.edu for more information.

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