First Two Weeks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

First Two Weeks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Going into the summer, I was constantly being asked what I intended on doing with my time. I told everyone that I would be interning for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the second largest historical archive in the country to the Library of Congress, but beyond that I wasn’t entirely sure myself.   I knew my job would involve a decent amount of writing and researching, both things I have come to enjoy throughout my time at Haverford as a political science major, but I didn’t know what I would be researching or for which kind of audience. Upon arriving, I soon realized why I was unsure of my job description. HSP doesn’t often assign it’s interns specific tasks with strict deadlines: rather I was given the freedom to tell my supervisor what areas I wanted to be most involved in, and furthermore, which topics I wanted to explore the most. Having worked in an office before, I am well aware of how rare it is that an undergraduate intern  has the agency to pursue subjects that are genuinely of interest, as opposed to running menial errands for everyone else.   So far I have been working on the interactive online map used for the public, wherein there are links containing historical information about hundreds of significant locations in Philadelphia. Thus far I have been researching two main topics–both of which are very relevant to things happening right now. The first is about the Reading Viaduct project–the expansive abandoned railroad that the city is trying to turn into a park, much like the New York City Highline. I am...
Summer of Learning: Interning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Summer of Learning: Interning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

  When I was in 9th grade, I visited the Penn Museum for the first time and it changed my life. It sparked my interest in Anthropology and a desire to one day work in a museum. The museum has a vast collection of objects, the amount unheard of for a University Museum. 6 years later and I’m now interning at the museum in two separate departments: the Learning Programs Department whose main focus is the K-12 audience, and the Public Programs Department who focuses on the general population. Both are two separate entities but both focus on public engagement and teaching, 2 pillars of the museum’s mission statement. I knew I wanted to work somewhere in museum education in the future, so being able to intern in both departments was a perfect fit! In the Learning Programs Department, I work under Kevin Schott, the Guide Programs Manager, and Allyson Mitchell, the Outreach Programs Manager both of which who are so great and amazing. Kevin is the person I go to whenever I’m confused, 10/10 times he has had answers for me. The department has several other people who are all museum educators and work on different aspects in the department. I am so grateful to be able to work alongside them since they are some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever met! The first day of work, over 400 kids came into the museum, all around the same time, and it was the most organized chaos I have ever seen. Everyone in the department was calm and handled all of the hyper kids with ease...