Alumni Reunion is here and we are busy as ever this week helping all sorts of patrons! That doesn’t mean we were so busy that Angie couldn’t provide her regular update though. Read on for an update in Angie’s words!
I hope everyone’s summer is going splendid, I know mine is! My summer internship is now past the halfway point and, while I am sad that it is going by so fast, I am excited to tell you all about the cool activities I am working on.
I recently started accessioning new materials into the archives, which means taking intellectual and physical control over the materials and then entering information into our database ArchivesSpace. This allows the archives to keep track of the materials in its repository and it serves as the first step of processing collections. I have had the opportunity to accession and then process five scrapbooks into the Brodeur and Banks Family Papers Collection (MS-920). These scrapbooks include photographs and newspaper articles from the family’s international and domestic vacations. It has been great getting hands-on experience using these archival skills.
I am also continuing to assist patrons with their reference requests both in-person and through email. I am getting better at finding the material patrons need and learning the tricks to genealogical research.
This internship has also provided the opportunity to visit other archives in the surrounding area. Taking fieldtrips to visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park Archives in Calumet and Finlandia University’s Archives in Hancock allowed me to see the variety of archival repositories. Each archive holds collections that focus on different aspects of the Keweenaw Peninsula, but together they create a rich history of the region.
Additionally, we took a fieldtrip to tour the Quincy Mine up in Hancock. The Michigan Tech Archives holds some of the Quincy Mining Company’s records, including employment records. Seeing the steam hoist (largest in the world at the time) in-person and taking the tram down into the mine really helped me to understand the working conditions for the miners and opened my eyes to life during the early history of Upper Michigan.
I only have a few weeks left, but I am hoping to make the most of it and learn all that I can. Before I go, I also want to give a quick shout out to the MTU Archives’ staff, Lindsay (University Archivist), Allison (Archivist), Emily (Archivist) and Allyse (Archives Assistant), who have been amazing supervisors and coworkers during this internship. Their patience and immense knowledge have made this internship both enjoyable and educational and I am very grateful to get to work with them.