Tag Archives: Internships

What I Learned in Summer School…

Gabe

Gabe Sudbeck, summer intern in Manuscripts.

“Everyone has a story and I want to know what it is.” These words were spoken by the late WKU history Professor Carlton Jackson. This notion has formed a phrase that has stuck with me since I read them. My name is Gabe Sudbeck and during my time as an intern in WKU’s Library Special Collections Manuscripts unit, I spent a lot of time reading his work and looking over his research about the HMS Rohna and the 1918 flu epidemic. When I was home one night talking with my mother about my internship, and I found out that she (a WKU Alumna) had actually been a research assistant with Jackson during her time at WKU. She said that he was a wonderful man. While I personally never had the honor to meet him in person, I do believe that he was a fine man full of energy and passion for his field.

The stories that I read about in the collection concerned regular people dealing with survival and tragedy in world events. The sinking of the Rohna for example was a tragedy in which over 1000 American men lost their lives. Many were left adrift for three days. Many men began to think of their loved ones. One story featured a man lost at sea who could hear his wife telling him that he could pull though. Another consisted of a priest recalling the story of a member of his church who refused to be baptized due to fear of being submerged under water which reminded him of being adrift at sea for three days.

One thing I learned from the internship is the personal connections that the researcher makes with his subject when he begins to study a historical event or person. I have heard stories that David McCullough, when researching John Adams intended for it to be about both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. But McCullough found Adams to be more interesting and under appreciated, despite his significant contributions. McCullough truly enjoyed his discovery and his research; in the same spirit Carlton Jackson relished each of his writing projects. If I have learned anything from studying his work, it’s that we all have our own story to tell from the greatest of tragedies to the minutiae of everyday life.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, Uncategorized

Arlis O. Harmon & WKU Folk Studies Intern’s Success

Graduate student intern's depiction of Harmon's life as a composer

Graduate student intern’s depiction of Harmon’s life as a composer.

In Library Special Collections, we have been fortunate to have Angela Arvizu from the Folk Studies Department as a graduate student intern beginning in June. Ms. Arvizu added 171 created the metadata records for Arlis O. Harmon’s original compositions of sheet music (which will soon be approved and internet accessible at kencat.wku.edu), researched and documented an exhibit’s contents using Past Perfect Collection Management software, and created a case exhibit which will remain on display until January 26, 2016 in the Special Collections Library of the Kentucky Building.Harmon Exhibit by Angela intern
Of her internship, Angela wrote: “The experience of being an intern at Kentucky Library Research Collections was gratifying….Harmon who died in 1992 was a composer and poetry writer from Kentucky. The work done during my internship organized and protected his collection of compositions. I appreciated the opportunity to work with Sue Lynn McDaniel and the Special Collections Library in this project.”

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

Often these internships and student work opportunities serve our WKU students well as they seek employment after graduation. Thank you, Angela, for a job well done!

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Filed under Old Stuff, People, Reference

WKU Archives Intern

Ryun Warren

Ryun Warren, center, reviewing architectural drawings with fellow members of American Institute of Architecture Students.

My name is Ryun Warren, and I am a junior at WKU majoring in Architectural Sciences. This semester (Spring 2015) I had the opportunity to research, process, and catalog over two hundred sets of construction drawings pertaining to several projects on campus dating from the 1930s to the 2000s (UA30/1/1). Within these documents I was able to see how the design and drafting process has evolved over time, especially in regards to major technological advancements in the field (i.e. Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) software). The art of hand drafting has almost become a lost art with the efficiency of computer software in a fast-paced society. However, the majority of these sets of construction documents were hand drawn and reveal the level of detail and thought given to each building that is or has been a part of The Hill. From Van Meter Hall to the original Ogden College buildings, from iconic Cherry Hall to Diddle Arena, I was fortunate enough to be able to not only study architectural history but to study the history of our college campus, its story throughout time as told through its construction.

The importance of preserving this story was impressed upon me throughout my stay in the WKU Archives. Proper storage is the only way to ensure that these beautiful drawings withstand the test of time and are available for future generations to study and admire.

With over two hundred sets of drawings stored in various locations, a detailed catalog must be kept. I was trained to enter these drawings into PastPerfect – the cataloging database software used by WKU Library Special Collections to easily sort and process all of the documents, photographs, and manuscripts within its possession. These are available online through KenCat. In addition to PastPerfect, I created and maintained a detailed spreadsheet specifically for the construction documents containing such information as project title, associated buildings, drawing dates, architect(s) of record, and references to the PastPerfect photo entries where applicable (UA1C9).

1D3815This experience has truly been informative as both a study of architecture and a study of my WKU home. The history of this campus as told through its buildings is arguably as telling as any other means of relating the history of how The Hill came to be. Likewise, the proposed buildings and the thought of what WKU could have looked like if a different design won a bid provokes thought as to why a certain bid may have won and how people would interact differently with campus and with each other.

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Filed under University Archives