Krystal Dagget interned at Salisbury House this semester and participated in all aspects of a small museum. She started working on the cataloging program and helped organize the museum’s extensive object and book collection. As the semester went on, Krystal began giving tours and learned about how the Salisbury House Foundation chooses to interpret the story of this home. Krystal then began doing her own research in the files and photo albums of the Weeks family, who built and owned the home, to create an exhibit proposal.
At the Salisbury House Katie Purvis learned new skills that will bettered her understanding of what it takes to catalog, store and clean items; understand placement for different artifacts in the house based on the period that is chosen to be represented in the House’s life; as well as giving tours of Salisbury House. Katie learned how to apply what she learned in the classroom as well as from the department, to understand the concept of Public History and how it differs from teaching or working at the college level with history. These skills are a small scratch on the surface of what it takes to understand the logistics of running a Historical House, but the current Curator, Megan Stout-Sibbel, is fantastic at answering any questions and providing ways to learn these skills.
Stephanie Turner had an internship at the Iowa Jewish Historical Society was a great experience. She learned how to handle historical artifacts properly and how to catalog objects with PastPerfect, the standard database software for museum collections. Katie researched historical events, people, and artifacts and posted them on the Iowa Jewish Historical Society newly launched social media platforms. Katie's favorite part of her internship has been piecing together the life stories of Iowa Jewish families and having the opportunity to handle artifacts that still require research to reveal their historical context and story.
Katie Purvis was an intern at Fort Des Moines Museum. She has had a variety of jobs, including researching how other museums run tours, creating scripts for Fort Des Moines tour guides, and conducting tours herself. This has been a very rewarding experience. Katie embarked on new research to provide more complete “after World War I” stories of some of the African American men who received their training at Fort Des Moines. Being able to work in a museum in transition gave her a different understanding of behind-the-scenes work and the everyday struggles and joys that small museums face, especially those focused on a very specific range of history.