What do IPH interns do?

Samantha Needham

Samantha Needham

2015 3rd Year Undergraduate, Spanish & Anthropology Major, Prince William County Historic Preservation Division

I interned at the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division in Dumfries, Virginia. My project, which is funded by the Historical Commission, is a pop-up exhibit on 20th century agriculture in Prince William County.

I built on last summer’s IPH intern project on oral history and incorporated it into my own exhibit. I feel that I’ve gotten so many valuable experiences from my internship, and learned a lot about curation, research, exhibit development, and museum and government work that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I got to research in the Library of Congress (a dream of mine since middle school!), look through genealogies in the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center at Bull Run Regional Library, and examine museum and photo archives in the Manassas Museum. I really feel that I’ve amplified my classroom experience, especially in the realm of research; it’s been really great to get so hands-on and be able to dig through archives. I’ve gotten really excited about looking through old photographs and newspapers especially - it’s amazing how well-preserved these artifacts can be.

Future interns at my site should take advantage of the great opportunities in Prince William County and the greater D.C. metro area. The Library of Congress is a great research site, the librarians at RELIC are incredibly helpful, and the people of the Historic Preservation Division are all wonderful to work with. Above all, have fun!

For more information on what IPH interns do during their summer internships, check out the summer interns' Tumblrs from Summer 2017Summer 2016, and Summer 2015.