About Archives

A couple days ago I got to experience what has probably been my favorite day here at Homestead. This week the park had to complete its annual inventory of the museum’s collection, which meant going through the various artifacts to ensure that every thing was accounted for and that everything was in the correct place.

This task was assigned to the park’s historian, Robert, and the museum technician, Amy. However, Robert, who had just gotten back from the two-week Fundamentals training at the Grand Canyon, had to attend a attend a meeting at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. As a result, Amy was put in charge of the inventory. She was assisted by a pair of volunteers. Initially, I did not know this was being done. I was sitting in the office next to the archives working on my research project when I noticed that door to the collections (which is usually closed) was open. I peeked inside and saw Amy and the volunteers reading off a checklist while also looking through some files in a bookcase. Intrigued, I joined them. We moved over to the next shelf and began searching through boxes of photographs to find the specific ones listed on the inventory checklist. We also looked through other archives such as old newspapers, as well as more tangible museum pieces such as shotguns, tools, and projectile points.

Despite the fact that I only did inventory for about two hours, I can honestly say it has been my favorite part of this internship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have had a wonderful time doing other parts of my job such as visitor services. However, working in a museum and with museum collections has always been my dream job. When I first started college, I went in with the firm belief that I wanted to work as a museum curator. Though I have wavered on this position somewhat over the years, doing inventory this past week reaffirmed that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I loved being able to go through the different artifacts. Being able to touch them was also really cool. Part of the reason I did this internship is because I will soon be graduating and have been somewhat worried about what I would do afterwards. I wanted to gain experience and see what kinds of jobs were out there. Thanks to this internship at Homestead, I now know there are opportunities to do what I love within the National Park Service.

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