A Day in the Life of a METC Intern
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 • 8:06pm
As summer interns at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Karen Thomson of Seton Hall University, Terrance Brown of Seton Hall University, Jeff Picard from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Kimberly Lewis from Drew University, had the unique opportunity to work on a variety of museum-related tasks that helped them gain a great deal of experience in the field of museum studies. Their involvement was primarily with the Museum’s collections and exhibits.
Each week, the interns cleaned the exhibit spaces --both the cases called vitrines and individual objects like the printing press-- throughout the museum in order to ensure their long-term maintenance and preservation. They also worked to catalog, label, and properly store new incoming accessions, including farm equipment and stone mason’s tools using the PastPerfect collections database.
In addition, the summer interns worked on the ongoing archives project to digitize (scan), transcribe (create typed word-for-word copies of the documents), and properly record information (create searchable records) about the Museum’s archival materials pertaining to the Ralston-Nesbitt family so that researchers and the general public can benefit from these letters, financial records and land deeds which date from the late 1700s through the early 1900s.
Over the course of the summer, Karen, Terry, Jeff and Kim also worked on a variety of projects to help with the planning, design, and installation of the upcoming exhibit, Ghost, Ghouls & Gravestones: The Trades of Burial (open September 8, 2013-February 14, 2014). Karen and Terry embraced the theme of the exhibit by helping to sew and install black mourning drapery in the exhibit. The summer interns also had the opportunity to conduct primary research for the two upcoming exhibits at the New Jersey Historical Society.
Of their experience at the METC Karen and Terry said, “This internship experience has allowed us to learn a great deal about curatorial practices in a small museum setting that will greatly benefit us in our future endeavors.” The METC wishes all of its summer interns the best and thanks them for their hard work.
The mission of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of America's past by presenting and interpreting the history, culture and lives of ordinary people through educational programs, through preservation and stewardship of our collection, and through exhibition and demonstration of the trades and crafts practiced in New Jersey from its earliest settlement. Website: www.metc.org
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