2015 Graduate, American Studies & History Major, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities & Eastern Shore Museum Network
From January to August 2015, I served as a public history intern for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, in collaboration with the Eastern Shore Museum Network. The biggest project within the scope of my internship has been consulting with all 14 member museums in the network to help build the foundation for a grant proposal submitted by VFH to the National Endowment for the Humanities. My spring report, along with the work I achieved this summer, gathered extensive information on the collection and digitization process of each institution, including any usage of museum software or metadata collection. My experience with VFH and the ESMN has given me something I could not have gotten anywhere else: an opportunity to understand the world of public history and the struggles and challenges that face small museums on a daily basis. Through multiple projects and a wide array of tasks, I have explored the field of public history more through this internship than I ever expected. I have also completely confirmed my passion for museum work and my desire to pursue further education in the field - graduate school, here I come (fingers crossed)! I began this internship through a class on public history and my continuation with the project has supplemented the information I learned in the classroom. The pairing of a practical, hands-on experience with classroom learning made for a well-rounded understanding of a complex and intriguing subject matter. This experience has been beyond valuable to me, and I cannot wait for it to potentially do the same for another budding public historian!