Diane Werley internship offers unique experience

Smith Interns with benefactor Diane Werley Smith, L to R: Jenna Fleming ‘16 (2014), Diane Werley Smith ‘73, Rachel Hammer ‘15 (2012), Dori Gorczyca ‘15 (2013) (Photo Credit: The Musselman Library staff)

By Dori Gorczyca, Musselman Library Correspondant

Over the course of the ten-week internship, I worked on a variety of projects; there was never a dull moment! Although many students never experience the ‘behind the scenes’ work of Special Collections, the Smith internship allowed me to work up close and personal with unique (and wonderfully old!) documents, books, and other collections, all the while gaining a wealth of archival and conservation knowledge.

Although ten weeks may not seem like a lot of time, I was able to accomplish a plethora of projects: I helped curate a small exhibit, learned the basics of cataloging and worked through a large section of newly acquired books, read and transcribed close to one hundred World War I letters (and digitize over a dozen of them), and learned to repair a rare book from start to finish. The list of projects could go on. The hands on experience taught me more than I ever could learn in a traditional classroom setting.

Ultimately, the most rewarding aspects of the internship were the connections I made with the Special Collections staff. As a group of experienced and knowledgeable professionals, the workers of Special Collections guided me through my internship, ready and eager to share their specialized knowledge with me regarding whichever project I was working on at the time. I was able to continue this immersive education for two more years, working closely with the resident conservator, and found a passion for book binding and rare book conservation. The opportunity to explore an archive and contribute to special collections has become an invaluable aspect of my Gettysburg education and I am incredibly grateful for the change to discover a new passion and new skill set outside of the classroom.

The Diane Werley Smith ‘73 Internship is an incredible opportunity for students who are interested in learning more about working in archives or special collections, or for those who have an interest in public history, conservation, or museum studies as a profession.

Over the course of the summer experience, the intern will assist in processing new collections, digital projects, conservation, cataloging, and rehousing material, among others. It is a paid internship that provides a valuable skill set for those interested in the above fields. Graduating seniors are welcome to apply as well. For more information contact Carolyn Sautter (csautter@gettysburg.edu). Applications are due February 27th.

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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