This post was written by Amy Blake, Processing Intern for the Fall 2018 semester. Amy has her BA in History and English from the University of Mary Washington. She is currently studying as a non-degree student at George Mason University, and intends to pursue a Master of Library Science degree in the future.
Coming out of University with a double major in History and English left me proud of myself, yet confused about what direction I should take in terms of a career. I looked into the obvious – museums, teaching and the like, but didn’t find myself truly excited about any of the options. I remembered, though, that I had discovered the special collections at my alma mater, the University of Mary Washington, just a month or so before I graduated and had been so excited by that discovery. The work they did there perfectly blended English and History together and I had thought at the time just how amazing it would be to pursue archives as a career. That then brings me here, to George Mason University, shyly coming to the Special Collections Research Center to ask for advice about how to start taking steps towards becoming an archivist. I couldn’t be more thankful to them for giving me the opportunity to work as an intern with them for this past semester.
I have had an amazing experience processing multiple collections of varying sizes and materials. It has given me experience that I quickly realized is difficult to come by elsewhere. The staff of the SCRC are also incredibly motivating and helpful when it comes to planning the next steps in becoming an archivist. My proudest achievement here is the most recent, and last collection I was assigned: The College of Visual and Performing Arts collection. It has been a lot of hard work, getting the processing finished (it has taken me a few weeks longer than I had anticipated!), but I learned more from this collection than from the other ones I completed. Not only was the collection extremely unorganized and presented me with a massive puzzle to put together gradually, but it varied so much in terms of materials that I had to learn how to correctly process several new materials, such as AV materials like cassettes and VHS tapes.
After being an intern here at the SCRC I know for sure that I want to be an archivist and will work my hardest to achieve my goal! Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself back at George Mason one day – that would definitely be the cherry on top of all of this.
Follow Special Collections Research Center on Social Media at our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us or call if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions. Appointments are not necessary to request and view collections.