Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internship in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Provides In-Depth Learning Experiences

by Joseph Michael Brugos,
Archives and Special Collections Undergraduate Intern

This semester I have had the opportunity to work in the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections as an undergraduate intern. This internship is my final requirement for my public history major. This experience has given me the opportunity to combine academic and professional fields in an eye-opening, deeply satisfying learning experience.

I have been able to apply my undergraduate education in a real-life working situation in more ways than I thought. My activities in the Archives are eclectic so that I have been able to work in many different aspects of the unit. My main project this semester is processing the papers of former Indiana Governor Otis Bowen. In addition, I have worked at the Archives’ reference desk where I help students and faculty to locate and use research materials. My assignment has also allowed me to assist in researching and installing exhibits.

In my studies as an undergraduate, I examined many different types of historical institutions. Archives were always the most interesting to me because of their emphasis on both preservation of historical materials and presentation of resources to the public. So far in my internship, I have been able to do both.

All of my assignments have been in a professional setting, and they have served to prepare me for a career after graduation. While I am not sure which career path my life will take, I know that I will forever draw on my experiences that I have gained in the Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

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