My name is Curtis Spratte-Lennington and I have worked as an intern in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of the Special Collections Library at WKU for the spring of 2013. I learned various new things. I learned how to accession items, something that requires a little more concentration and focus than what I had previously thought. I also learned about a noble and dedicated man who spent a great majority of his life ensuring he did not miss a single vote in the House of Representatives: Congressman William Natcher. Even on his dying deathbed, he did not want to miss a vote in the House. I wrote a biography for the William Natcher collection. I also organized, cataloged, and created accession numbers for the Natcher finding aid that will help future students to conduct research about this dedicated man. Surprisingly there has never been a single book released that deals with the life of Congressman Natcher and I hope that with the use of these finding aids someone would be able to tell the story of this man and what he did for the state of Kentucky.
I also learned how to catalogue and file small collections within Manuscripts. One of the most interesting aspects of going through manuscripts is that they cover individual histories with photographs, family memorabilia, etc… and for me the chance to go through material is almost like conducting an archeological excavation through a person’s life and to learn the individual stories from individual people was like taking a journey through time. By cataloging historical material I was able to understand what it means to be an archivist; it literally means to not only organize historical material but to ensure the collection’s integrity for generations to come. Understanding historical material is literally understanding the individual who wrote or contributed it and understanding the time period where it came from.