October 11, 2019
Kerry Rork is a sophomore majoring in History and Political Science, and minoring in Philosophy. Over the summer she interned at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California. Here she shares how her work with the Dictionary of Art Historians helped prepared her for working with archives and the work she did at the library.
Over the summer, I interned at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in the National Archives division. My position was primarily to digitize approximately 2,000 pages of recently declassified textual materials from POW/MIA files. These files were then added to the library site, within Drupal content management, for scholars to explore. After reading through these documents, I created a series scope and content note to make the files more accessible, which was then published to the website. I also worked in archival maintenance and assisted archivists to pull boxes for researchers within the stack areas.
When applying for the internship, I included my position with Dictionary of Art Historians. I discussed that I had developed analytical skills in formulating and compiling documents and archival information. I also described how much of my work would be applicable to an archival department aiming to further construct their research database. For the dictionary, I work on building a scholarly source for historians by piecing together the lives of art historians – particularly women of the 19th and 20th centuries – through everything from newspaper clippings to dissertations
Ultimately, it was working with the Wired! Lab and Dictionary of Art Historians that made me stand out in the applicant pool and eventually get the position. Throughout the summer, much of my research drew upon the skills from Dictionary of Art Historians – from examining archival documents to writing my research on POW/MIA files. It was this work at the Wired! Lab that best prepared me for working on archives and research at the Nixon library.
Image Credit: Kerry Rork