Tuesday, May 21 I began my internship with the Marine Corps History Division, Archives Branch, and what a summer it has been. Next week I finish my internship and head back to Indiana University for the last year of my grad program. I cannot believe how fast it has gone, but even though it was quick I have learned and experienced several things that have made a lasting impact.
This summer I have gotten to develop several skills that will help me further on as an archivist. Such as: processing two collections of passed Marines, scanning and describing photographs, and cataloging photographs within the collection.
I also got to work on other professional skills as well. I have a better understanding of working in an office setting. I learned to more about the Marine Corps and how to act in certain situations within the military. Also, I got an introduction to navigating the application process for government jobs, and what to look for if/when I apply for a government job. In addition to those opportunities, I also learned about other careers in history and how they relate to the work of an archives. There were so many opportunities this summer for me to take advantage. I can only hope that I am able to retain this information and use it for the future.
On average, each week of my internship I worked 27 hours. Most of my time I jumped around several different tasks, depending on what needed to be done. The most man hours I spent on a single project was working with the photos of the Holland Smith collection. Spending over 5 full 9-hour days of work on just on that project. Whenever they are fully available on the archive’s Flickr site, I will make sure to share them with everyone. There are several interesting photos that I am sure several people will enjoy.
The project I spent the most time on, after the Smith photos, was cataloging and rehousing the several of the irregular sized photographs. I also did this project with one of the full-time archivists. Getting to have that one-on-one experience with a professional archivist was invaluable, and several of those conversations I will recall for years to come as I progress within the profession.
Also, while working in an archive, I got to experience some of the weird parts of what the job entails. Whether that is interacting with odd researchers, discovering interesting materials, or handling odds and ends you would never expect to see. Those kinds of small misadventures help prove to me that this job will be enjoyable long term and is something that makes working through the tedium worth it.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone that has been following this journey the whole summer. I know I have said it multiple times, but it means a lot to me that I have several people that have taken the time and enjoy reading my adventures with my internship this summer. Also, as always, if there are any questions, I can answer please let me know.