I am Marc Turley and I have just had the privilege of being an intern for the Department of Library Special Collections. This is my last semester here at WKU and I will be graduating with a double major in history and social studies and a minor in business administration.
As a history major, I have always respected the importance of historical documents and articles, whether they be local or from a governmental organization, as they allow us to see how we have developed to this point. In these past few months, I have worked on several projects that have only furthered my drive to work in a historical institution.
When I received an email advertising an internship with the Department last semester, I originally thought the position would consist of simple busywork, but after starting I was surely mistaken. In the Department of Library Special Collections I was able to glance into the life of our predecessors through their photographs, correspondence, and even the maps that they left behind. On the Kentucky Library Research Collections side of the department I was able to work on cataloging old photographs and handcrafted maps of local Kentuckians, indulging my personal passion for maps. In the Manuscripts and Folklife Archives unit I helped to typescript letters from Noah S. Pond, who came to Kentucky from Connecticut early in the 19th century, scan industrial reports of Kentucky counties and post them online, and organize a collection of letters from the Vietnam era that offered a glimpse into the lives of Kentuckians from that time. By making all these materials available online, whether they be a simple catalog entry or full text, we are encouraging others to visit the Department of Library Special Collections and experience its resources firsthand.