My name is Dylan Kornberg, and I am one of the two new interns for the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, along with my classmate Chris Sullivan. For the last month or so, Chris and I have been working at the Wright Building with Ms. Ravenscroft organizing and categorizing finding aids for our respective collections recently donated to the Historical Society; Chris has been working on the Boylston Collection, while I have been focusing on the French-Atlantic Cable and Robert James Needham Collections, which came as a single set. Three to four times a week we come to the Wright building from the high school across the street and for around an hour work on our finding aids. The process of creating a finding aid consists of first inventorying a collection’s contents, then organizing the items (first on paper, then physically into folders) into different “series” or categories, i.e. Photographs, Newspaper Clippings, etc. Once organized, Chris or I will write up a brief paragraph detailing the contents of the collection, and another one giving some historical background for the people and events the collection deals with. For example, the French-Atlantic Cable collection I recently finished the finding aid for consists of photographs and documents from the time the first telegraph cable linking Europe to the United States was built in 1869, a cable that started in France and ended right here in Duxbury. Once the finding aid is complete, it is transfered to a Word Document on a specific archival format, and added to the lists of finding aids already organized by Ms. Ravenscroft and other archivists. Though it may sound a bit dry and boring at first glance, the internship provides not only a fantastic oppurtunity to learn about the process of handling and organizing primary sources, but the handling of those primary sources is utterly fascinating, and I cannot describe an experience quite like holding a piece of history in your hands. The first time I really experienced this feeling was when I came across a telegram sent by King George V of England himself in 1924 around the world (in 80 seconds, a big deal back then!). For any high school student who plans on focusing on the study of history later in life, or who finds their curiosity for history not satisfied at the end of history class, sign up for this fantastic internship.
i am a new board member of the DRHS and just read your blog . Our executive Director, patrick Browne made your blog available to us ( board members). It was great to read about your work and hear how exciting it is to read first hand about our local history. I’m not sure what grade you are in, but i just read about college admissions essays and your blog content is what admissions folks are looking for from a prospective student…… food for thought.
keep up the great work and thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you so much Ms. Mohrman. I really appreciate the thought and am flattered that you would think so highly of the work I’ve done here. I am a Senior, and most of my college admission work is done, however I would be glad to share with any of my younger classmates this thought.
Thank you so much again,