Week One Ohio Internship

I didn’t realize how much it was going to rain in the Cleveland area. I’m not complaining, it’s just strange. Everyone looks at me and says, “lake effect,” like that really means anything to me. 

Monday: I spent 6.5 hours in the Map Room at the county administration office. I was able to randomly select two properties from each of the nine neighborhoods and started the arduous process of finding the deeds. There were two male employees. One has worked there for more than 20 years and was extremely helpful. He was able to take what I thought I needed and turned it into what I really needed. The other man seems very new. I could hear in his voice how annoyed he was every time someone called and basically did what I did. He’s taking next Monday off, but the nice man will still be there. I left at about 3 pm when my eyes got too tired to read the deeds. I went back to the SHS and spent an hour discussing my day and eating lunch. Then I spent another hour inventorying the 2017 collection.

Tuesday: For about six hours I made accession cards. Rather than having everything logged in a book, Shaker Historical Society uses an old card catalog. I saw the children preparing for the archaeology day camp. At the end of the day, the children came back excited about the day’s finds. I also spent about an hour in the gift shop.

Wednesday: I spent two hours taking photos and observing a class that arrived for a field trip. The director taught a class, lead a guided tour through the house and then out to the dig site. The remaining 5 hours was spent making “donor cards,” and measuring the 2017 collection.

Thursday: I spent 7.5 photographing the 2017 collection, editing the photos, and then updating the spreadsheet that I will use for entering the items into Past Perfect. I thought the backdrop paper was a little thin and kind of strange, but I’ve never done studio photography before and just set up the area with the roll of white paper that was close at hand. It ended up being archival tissue paper. 🙁 Everyone was really nice about it but I feel bad because it’s more expensive than the actual backdrop paper. 

Friday: I got lost on my morning run. I ran the route that I drive to work. On the way back I decided I’d take a turn a bit sooner. I thought the streets are laid out like a grid and I could just zig-zag my way back. Nope. I had to take out my phone and look at the map to figure out where I was and how to get where I needed to be. At work, I spent 7.5 hours entering the 2017 collection into Past Perfect.

Thoughts: SHS uses the card system for tracking their collection items and that seems to serve them well. I’m not sure how long they’ve had Past Perfect, but it looks like the last time anything was entered was 2013. I understand why. The 2017 collection is currently only at 30 items, and it took me 4 days to do what I’ve done, and I still need to get the numbers onto each item. Logging everything going back to 1947 must seem like an impossible task for them. I think this collections project will be done by the middle of next week. That will leave me with just the deeds project. Depending on how well my research goes on Monday, I could be wrapping that up soon too. I will ask if I can help with the 2016 collection. Now that I understand how their process works I might be a bit faster. I want to learn as much as I can and be an asset to this small organization.

Tell me what you think.

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