From the Desk of an Exhibits Intern

Week 8: Last Day & Farewell… Sort Of!

 My summer internship experience at the library is officially done. It’s odd to think about just how much I’ve accomplished this summer—I’ve researched Civil War genre painters, learned about nineteenth-century sheet music, installed frames, arranged Union soldiers’ swords—the list goes on. I truly am fortunate to have had such a unique and stimulating experience this summer.

I installed the last bits of several exhibits on Friday. I took tons of photos—I’ve included pictures of each below, so you can see the final results. I’ve also included a few sentences about each one, to give you a recap of what I did and what I liked most about each project. 

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Week 8: Installations, Check!

All the exhibit cases on the main floor are now officially filled! I still have some tweaking to do tomorrow (adding labels to the Civil War Sheet Music cases, for example) and  I still need to put the number cubes in the Beran exhibit. I have to say, installing these exhibits has been a lot more challenging that I thought it would be.

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Week 7: Silly Accident and More Exciting News

I apologize for the delay on this post. I had every intention of updating my blog on Friday, but that day I had a bit of an accident at work. Nothing major, nothing lethal, don’t worry. I just came very close to cutting a chunk of my finger off.

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Week 7: Exciting News!

Time just keeps flying by. I have about one week left at my internship—can you believe it? After next week I’ll be going home for a bit, and when I return it’ll be time for Residence Life training. Before I know it there will be new first-years invading the campus, and after that it will be time to start classes.

I have some great news—as it turns out, I won’t have to say good-bye completely to my job at the library this fall! Meggan told me that they’d like to keep me on to work next year, if my schedule allows. I’ll get to work on my Political Cartoons exhibit after all! I might also get to help out with Jim Agard’s work that’s going on the second floor, and I’ll be here for all of the ALA exhibit preparations too. Meggan also said they were interested in having me do some Public Relations stuff—my official title will be along the lines of “Exhibits and PR Intern.” Pretty exciting!

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Week 6: Fun with Civil War Sheet Music

One project I haven’t blogged too much about yet is the Civil War Sheet Music exhibit for the Main Floor. Initially, Meggan only asked me to come up with a tentative list of pieces to display from the resources available; now, though, I’m finding myself assigned to the task of organizing, mounting, and labeling the exhibit. It’s a cool assignment, because it’s so different from everything else I’ve been working on this summer.

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Week 6: Researching the “Kitsch”

Instead of writing a new post yesterday afternoon, I found myself caught in the middle of a traumatic power outage! Lisa was showing me how to use the photo printer when all of the lights suddenly went out. I learned later that it came from a brief storm outside. Robin sent most of use home early, and in my rush to get out of the blackness I forgot my journal (I prefer to handwrite my blog drafts in a composition book first, then I type, edit, and post).

Today I spent most of my time printing Civil War Sheet Music—a dull task, really. I won’t bore you with the details of sending image after image to the photo printer. What I would really like to talk about is what I managed to accomplish yesterday afternoon before the power outage, though it requires a bit of explanation.

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Week 5: Botticelli & Foam Core

On Friday I had a foam core demo with Jim. Since many of the fall exhibits will be featuring reproductions rather than original documents (the fluorescent lights on the main floor are too damaging), I’ll be responsible for mounting the images.

I had to go up to Jim’s office in Technical Services for the demo. The second I found his cubicle and saw his desk adornments, I was filled with Art History-major giddiness (or rather, nerdiness). Above his desk sat a panoramic reproduction of Botticelli’s La Primavera, one of my favorite works of art. I’d studied it in my first-year seminar. I commented on it, and Jim, who’d been sitting at his computer, smiled and showed me the other smaller icons on his desk, these ones of medieval figures.

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Week 5: Time Flies…

We had another important EPiC meeting yesterday afternoon. Beforehand, Meggan told me to prepare some materials so that I could update the rest of the Committee on the status of my projects.

I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already! My internship seems to just be flying by. One of the things we discussed at our meeting, actually, was how it was almost time to put up the rest of the exhibits. Scary thought! I know my 1860 Election exhibit is just about ready, but I can’t help but feel that there’s so much more research I can do and so much more fine-tuning. It’s probably the perfectionist in me talking.

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Week 4: Hitting the Roadblock

One of the most important things I’ve learned this week about exhibit planning is that a curator has to be flexible at all stages of the process. On Tuesday I learned that my Lincoln Election exhibit (which I’ve recently titled The Race for the Presidency: Then and Now) will be allotted only one flat display case instead of two, as I originally thought. The second case is reserved for a collection of related Election Memorabilia, loaned by Professors Kenneth Mott and Shirley Anne Warsaw in the Political Science Department. I knew the memorabilia case was going to be affiliated with my exhibit; I didn’t realize it would be taking up the same space.

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Week 4: More Adventures with Künstler and Gallon!

It won’t be long now before I start drafting the text for Künstler and Gallon. We started the installation process today—I met up with Lisa in her office first. After we brought the prints down to the apse, we began to make decisions about their order, layout, etc. Jim and Susan joined us to help, as did another student employee named Hudson.

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