Preparing Object Records for Accession

I’ve finished compiling all the gathered information about the objects in the Alexander Major’s House into an Excel spreadsheet, which I believe will then be imported into PastPerfect (the museum’s collections management software). There are several required fields that must be filled out when adding object records for accession.

One is the Collection field. I decided to have each room of the house be its own collection. For example, there’s a painting of Alexander Majors in the house’s entry hall, so it will be part of the Entry Hall Collection. Objects are given both a less descriptive Object Name, as well as a more descriptive Object Title. The Object Title would be “Oil Painting of Alexander Majors,” while the Object Name would simply be “Painting.” The Object Description includes even more details about an object, including information about the object’s specific location in the room, it’s composition, place of origin, etc. For instance, the Object Description for the Major’s painting contains details about the artist and painting, like how it was painted by local artist Mary Campbell and was based on a tintype of Majors at age thirty-six. Other information required in an object record include the date the object was made, the name of the donor, the catalog date, and the name of the staff member who cataloged the object. The most difficult part has been finding out who the donor of an object was, which I am currently working on by looking through old newsletters and organizational papers.

Unpaid Internship Opportunity: Congressional Leadership Fund

The Congressional Leadership Fund is currently seeking students interested in learning more about campaigning and effective public communications. Student interns will gain invaluable knowledge about the democratic process and work to become adept communicators through hands on experience with elected officials, candidates, and the general public. The internship opportunities for this Fall are open to any student; however, they must apply and be accepted. Hours are flexible, but students must be able to commit to 8-10 hours per week and are responsible for their own transportation.

The 2018 election cycle promises to be one of the most contested elections in history.  The

Congressional Leadership Fund will be an important part of this election and you will have a firsthand view of what it takes to win a campaign.

Eligible students will be provided with academic credit or service hours. While these positions are unpaid, they will provide political opportunities not available elsewhere and upon completion of the program, a letter of recommendation to a future employer or college will be provided.

Interns will be expected to assist the Congressional Leadership Fund

  • Grassroots Organizing
  • Event Planning
  • Research
  • Data Entry
  • Coalition Outreach Activities
  • Voter Contacts
  • Office Management

If you have any questions or would like more information, please email Blake Hale at bhale@theclf.org.

CLF Intern Flier (Fall) — Hale[1265][9801]

Paid Internship Opportunity: Baker University Archives

The Baker University Archives is pleased to announce a 200-hour internship to assist with the arrangement and description of the Bailey Family Collection. The intern will assist the university archivist with and create a finding-aid for the collection, which is approximately 16 cubic feet in size.

College course work in history or a related discipline and an interest in archives are required. Experience using Archon, Archives Space, or a similar program is desirable. Individuals currently enrolled in a history, library science, information management, or archives management program are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three references to Office of Human Resources, Baker University, PO Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006 or by email at employment@wildcat.bakerU.edu. Attachments must be in MS Word or Adobe PDF formats. Interviews will be conducted on the Baldwin City campus. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Baker University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Paid Internship Opportunity: Harry S. Truman Library

The Harry S. Truman Library is seeking college interns to assist with their education programs.

Interns will help provide an interactive museum learning experience to third graders through an educational program at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo.

This short term paid intern opportunity is available February – April, 2018. The interns will lead groups of 3rd grade students (8/9 yrs old) and move students to stations in the museum galleries and work with students to complete tasks in those areas.

The interns will assist students in finding clues and answers within the exhibits and respond to their questions.

For more information and a full internship job description email mark.adams@nara.gov

Working as a Collection Intern at the Alexander Majors House

My first several weeks working as a collection intern at the Alexander Majors House Museum have proven to be both challenging and engaging. My past public history experience has been primarily in archives and this is the first internship where I’ve been able to work with museum objects. My initial assignment was to make an inventory of the house’s objects. This has been a bit daunting, given that there are a total of fourteen rooms and hallways, each chockfull of artifacts. The ultimate goal of the internship is to catalog all objects into the museum’s database for accession.

The most common obstacle has been my lack of knowledge about Victorian period antiquities. Fortunately, I was provided with a rough list and description of each room’s objects. With the aid of my smartphone and the internet, I researched objects on the list and compared them with objects in the house. For example, after learning about the aesthetic differences between Bristol and Old Paris vases I was able to distinguish them throughout the house.

However, there have been instances where I’ve been completely baffled by an object and its purpose. For instance, there are some odd utensils in the kitchen (like the one pictured below) whose functions completely elude me. In these cases, I write the best description possible and make a note to get help identifying it later. I then take pictures of the object for later identification. Once finished, I’ll go through the house with my supervisor and reexamine those particular artifacts.

Identifying and learning about Victorian artifacts has been a rewarding experience. This knowledge will become especially useful if I plan to work at a museum dealing with this time period.

-Kevin Ploth

IMG_6033

(What the heck is this??)

LaBudde Special Collection Transcription: Learning from One and Many Voices

Coming back to work on transcriptions for LaBudde after having worked on transcriptions from interviews I had conducted for the LatinxKC project has been a little bit of an adjustment. It is interesting looking at the interviews now from the perspective of having finished the oral history class as opposed to my thoughts while I was taking the class. I remember the frustration of trying to hear and sort out many voices as opposed to just one voice, but I have now come to see the place for different approaches. Having read about the therapeutic benefits of a group interview, I can see why someone might choose the more informal round table method as a way to preserve history. I can also see the benefits of a monologue and removing some of the external sources of intimidation which might threaten to question a person’s memory. One of the primary take aways I had from the oral history course was the importance of memory and finding how events felt and were remember for individuals and communities. I have noticed that one benefit of a relaxed group is that the group self corrects some of the flows in memory in such a way that it allows for the speaker to preserve their memory of the event in a less threatened way. Although the little group may correct each other on the dates, the shared community of the group, particularly in the lesbian round table interview I’m working with, seems to be very conscious and sensitive towards the feelings and memories of the other group members. Yet, I have also found that self correction occures for individuals without the group, such as in the monologue I have transcribed. The difference is that a group self correcting often becomes chaotic and the very corrections the group wishes to impose can be lost within the jumble of words, laughter, and jesting which are usual benefits of such groups. The individual on the other hand, when self correcting, is limited to their own conflicting recollection, and although more understandable, the corrections can still result in relatively jumbled and uncertain conclusions. What the monologue style confession does give is a free flow of what the narrator finds important. I say confession, because with the existence of the microphone, the narrator is still very aware that they are speaking to other people and wants to please those listeners. They must do so, however, without those listeners being there to give supportive listening cues or to directly participate in the guiding of the conversation. So, in some ways, the monologue is the most authentic confession of the person’s memories and values of what was important. But in other ways, the lack of a living person and the smile or nod of their head, can leave narrators monologueing to expectations which are not even there.

The group interview, in contrast, would appear to have the greatest level of interruptions, tangents, and outright questioning of the narrator’s memory. Yet, the comfort of having friends and a shared sense of support and community in the group interview of the lesbian round table allowed the speakers to question each other without fear. Thus, despite the frequent outbursts of laughter and side comments, the group is comfortable and most members are able to reflect on the events and what it felt like to them.

On a more critical note, I do not believe I would prefer to conduct either of the interview forms I’ve been transcribing. The monologue, while therapeutic and potentially more comfortable for the speaker, holds potential pitfalls in the assumption that the narrator will no longer be nervous with the living person being removed and the cold inanimate judgment of the tape recorder remaining. Yet, if I had gotten an interview with the narrator (which was the case of the monologue) then a monologue might allow the narrator to speak and contradict me in a safer nonconfrontational format. This is a worthy benefit, especially if there were conflicting memories and perspectives of events and places between the interview and the monologue’s account.

I also do no believe I’d want to do the group interview either, but for different reasons. Although the group interview could be more comfortable and allow for womens voices to be presented in a more natural and freeing way, the difficulty of hearing such voices can be a problem. Although the group interview provides a great sense of the group’s relationships and community, as well as still effectively conveying key points if the narrators’ views, it can also lose the particular views and memories of some of the individual members. The group reflection allows for sparked memories to be added to the narrative and a weaving of stories and fragments into a group sense of shared experience. The individual strands and story treads which contribute to the overall weave are visible, but can be lost in the blending of so many stories and threads. I have noticed that some of the quieter narrators in the group interview tend to be overtalked and some individuals with differing perspectives can be ganged up on by more vocal or forceful speakers. Some of the softer spoken narrators can be lost in the midst of background jesting or bombastic laughter. While creating a great sense of the group and allowing a format which sparks recollections, reflections, and additional details to stories, the different individual perspectives and memory of events can be lost in a group interview. Most of this is because the additional details and freedom to jump in create overtalking. More importantly, the round table group interview was so comfortable that it allowed some narrators to jump in late in the recording, or suddenly appear on record when they had silently been participating the whole time. The increase of influencing factors and visual cues present in the round table makes an audio recording confusing to listen to. Without a visual recording included with the audio it is, at times, nearly impossible to know who and what is being talked to or about. Individual interviews with each person would have allowed for much deeper and complete interviews in many ways, esoecially for the more timid speakers. Again, the group interview does provides a sense of the groups memory and also allows for contributions to each other stories by the narrators in ways which cannot be discounted. Yet, without individual interviews, I can’t help but wonder if the stories told by the group are those the quieter members would have told on their own, or if the stronger members of the group, with the best of intentions or without even knowing it, guided the group into a memory distinctly imprinted with their leadership.

Rockhurst High School Archives Unpaid Internship

Rockhurst High School Archives is taking applications for 2 unpaid summer internships. The Archive Interns will work closely with the School Archivist on some of the following projects: processing & cataloguing the collection, collection care & conservation, subject file creation, and school newspaper digitization project. In addition, the Archives Intern will assist with research and development of two digital exhibits being planned for the schools new Learning Commons & Sports Hall of Fame.

About: The Rockhurst High School Archives documents the history of Rockhurst from the time of its founding in 1910 to the present. The Archives collections encompass a wide array of media and subject matter. Paper-based collections include publications, curricula, class lists, office records, oral histories, scrapbooks, event programs and photographs. Videotapes, audiotapes, slides, photographs and a variety of three-dimensional artifacts also provide documentation on the history of Rockhurst High School.

Length: 40 hours from June 5th-August 4th. Beginning & ending dates are flexible and the internship may extend into the fall semester if desired.

Position Requirements:Applicant must have experience working in an archive or museum with historical collections and must be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate history program. Please e-mail your resume to Tim Reidy at treidy@rockhursths.edu. The deadline for applications is May 15th. This is an unpaid internship position.

Collection Intern

The Wornall/Majors House Museums

6115 Wornall Road

Kansas City, MO 64113

816-444-1858

www.wornallmajors.org

SUMMER INTERNSHIP AT THE WORNALL/MAJORS HOUSE MUSEUMS

COLLECTION INTERN

The Wornall/Majors House Museums is a non-profit that preserves and interprets two of Kansas City’s most significant antebellum landmarks – the John Wornall House Museum and the Alexander Majors House Museum. The Museums engage the Kansas City community by bringing history to life through innovative, hands-on programs and experiences. The houses, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, feature hands-on tours, field trips, summer camps, adult education programs, and more.

 About the Internship

Our interns experience many facets of museum management. We value our interns and go the extra mile to make sure you receive a learning experience that fits your career goals.

The internship runs through the summer and may extend into the fall if desired. This is an unpaid position for college credit. The internship will focus on the John Wornall House’s collections. Throughout the course of the internship, the intern will research collection items using museum records and outside sources, and update collection records in Past Perfect. 

Responsibilities

  • Examine museum collection records
  • Conduct research to determine validity of records
  • Conduct research to obtain new information
  • Update collection records in Past Perfect
  • Update Past Perfect to reflect latest inventory
  • Other tasks as assigned

Requirements

  • Familiarity with research methods
  • Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to discern importance and validity of information
  • Genuine interest in the history of the area and of the Civil War
  • Background in museum studies, history, or library science preferred.

Schedule

The intern will work 15 hours a week at the John Wornall House Museum for a minimum of 8 weeks. Beginning and ending dates can be flexible and the internship may extend into the fallsemester if desired. In addition, the intern may be asked to participate in special events and field trips. These hours are not required and may be substituted for a regularly scheduled shift.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to:

Sarah Bader-King, programs@wornallmajors.org

Summer Camp Manager

6115 Wornall Road

Kansas City, MO 64113

816-444-1858

www.wornallmajors.org

The Wornall/Majors House Museums

SEASONAL POSITION AT THE WORNALL/MAJORS HOUSE MUSEUMS

SUMMER CAMP MANAGER

ABOUT THE CAMP

Camp Wornall/Majors introduces children to what daily life was like on the frontier 150 years ago through interactive activities and experiences. Campers will have the opportunity to travel through history, from Native American communities through the Civil War. History will come to life for children as they interact with reenactors and participate in story-telling about the Underground Railroad, the Battle of Westport, the Pony Express, and more. They will also have hands-on opportunities to learn how to create various items that were integral to pioneer life: everything from paint, granola, rope, ink, and fabrics. Camp Wornall/Majors is for children who have completed kindergarten through age 12.

2 Week-long camps take place 9 AM – 4 PM at the Alexander Majors House (8201 State Line Rd., KCMO 64113) Monday-Thursday, and at the John Wornall House (6115 Wornall Rd., KCMO 64114) on Friday.

Dates: June 12-16, July 10-14

3 One-day camps 9 AM – 5 PM, 2 at the Alexander Majors House, and 1 at the John Wornall House.

Dates: June 8, June 26, July 18

JOB DESCRIPTION: CAMP MANAGER

  • The Camp Manager is responsible, in conjunction with the Camp Director, for overseeing the supervision, coordination, and evaluation of Camp Wornall/Majors including:
  • Preparing daily camp activities
  • Leading group activities and lessons
  • Enforcing rules, regulations, and administration of camp programs and activities
  • Supervising volunteers and junior counselors
  • Other duties as assigned

REQUIRMENTS

  • Two years of college with a major in education, history or non-profit management
  • Availability for all sessions of camp plus additional time to prep for camp as needed.
  • Must pass an NCSI background check.
  • CPR/First Aid certified, or willing to obtain certification, paid for by Wornall/Majors.
  • Preference will be given to individuals with relevant experience in history or education

Compensation: $8/hr.

To apply send resume to:

Sarah Bader-King, Director of Public Programming and Events

programs@wornallmajors.com

Almost done!

Hello all!

My last post I talked about how I am almost finished with entering the entire collection into the museum’s collections management software. I can safely say that next week that will finally be finished. It is a bit relieving finally getting this task accomplished. When I first came to the American Royal almost two years ago, I had no idea the amount of work that was needed. After my first couple of weeks I quickly knew that I could not complete the task within the ten weeks I was initially hired for. I was working off a Microsoft Access database that was created in 2003 and was horribly outdated and was missing over 400 entries. I decided the only way to accomplish this task thoroughly was to go through each file individually and to ignore the Access database. Now I have entered just over 500 artifacts and when I am finished it should be closer to 525.

When I am finished with this I will start writing the action plan and organizing the collections storage areas available to me now. The end of the semester is quickly approaching, but everything is finally coming together.

Thanks for reading!

Philip Bland