The Special Collections Research Center has had many student wage employees over the years. Undergraduate and graduate student assistants are invaluable to our archival processing and digitization projects, research services, and oral history program. Students have also been part of our records management team. It is safe to say that SCRC wouldn’t function the same way without them!
However, as critical as student workers are for SCRC, it’s not all about what our students can do for us. As a special collections unit at an educational institution, a major part of our mission is to train and teach the students who work here. Generally, SCRC has employed paid student workers, but internships for academic credit are even more focused on education than student wage jobs. As Lisa M. Sjoberg from Concordia College notes, “the goal of internships is to create a learning-centered experience for students to engage in an authentic environment that couples theory and practice.”1 In support of this goal, SCRC is thrilled to announce a new internship program that will provide undergraduate students with course credit and with targeted education in specific areas of special collections work.
To kick off our new internship initiative, two history undergraduate interns are working in SCRC for the Summer 2017 semester. Zac Greenfield and Bill Keeler began their special collections journeys with a scavenger hunt in our closed stacks on their first day, and they have each taken to their respective projects with great enthusiasm. Zac’s primary focus is on archival processing, and he is currently arranging and describing material collected by Vincent Callahan, a Northern Virginia politician. Bill, meanwhile, is working in research services and is helping Research Services Coordinator Rebecca Bramlett develop primary source literacy curriculum. Stay tuned throughout the summer, as we’ll be posting updates on Zac and Bill’s work, as well as information about future internships in SCRC for credit during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters.
1. Lisa M. Sjoberg, “Internships and High-Impact Learning in Archives,” in Management: Innovative Practices for Archives and Special Collections, ed. Kate Theimer (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), 29-30.