Category Archives: HistoryMaking

APS is moving….

So, it has been a crazy week at APS! APS has officially moved into the Westport Plexpods and they are still moving quite a bit of office stuff! So, I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible this week and focus on the APS HISTORY PROJECT. It is going well. I met with APS designers for their social media platforms and we decided to use this great app called blurb and I have been learning a lot about Blurbs uses. I have chosen to form a Trader book for APS that they can hand to their Fundraisers and then I am still trying to come up with a pamphlet styled sheeting system they can adopt and change to their ongoing platforms, so we will see how that goes. So this week has been kinda in the middle of craziness for APS And just trying to assist and stay out of the way, much as possible!!! I am using all of the material they have been housing and trying to find that cohesive collection from the beginning to the present of what APS consists of.

Until next week, my goal is to keep knocking down this major project and find bits to work on within the #metoo presentation that is taking place later on this year.

APS BINDER and office

I have been working steadily to create an accurate account of APS HISTORY. It has been a rough start due to an office move from their Troost quarters to the new Plexpods in Westport and not having access to certain computer programs but their design team had been helpful in getting a flow started. The APS team and I are gearing up to make sure it comes together nicely for the teams use. I am just very overly cautious about having control and time to set myself up for success. I want to present a final piece that they want to use over and over for their as an introduction binder to their finders. I do have a format happening against PowerPoint and bringing PDFs in one area to help contain project. I have piled all the information that had been doubled up and extensively used. Ideas are flowing and I am cutting down the unnecessary information, which I have been practicing fiercely!!!! So far, I have enjoyed jumping in on the projects that APS needs an extra hand and steadily working on this Independent project for their team to present at the end of my time. I will keep at it.

Next week I will be working APS social hour to present their new facility to their clients. So this will be an opportunity that I need to work in the community and network.

A low key setting that is a perfect setting to begin that community networking!

Until next week. I will provide a look of the project hopefully if we get to work with APS design team and computers work right!! Fingers crossed!


I participated in American Public Square’s Evening Social. It was a chance to present their new home to their current members with an appreciation social hour. APS and I put together a venue that showed appreciation with free snacks and drinks. I was a helping hand to whatever Adam, Claire and Alana needed that night. It was a mix of preparation of the dining hall for the guests, pouring drinks for the guests, and cleaning up the venue afterwards. I was able to put faces to names I recognized on paper. It was nice to see and talk with the long standing members of APS. Many members were interested in my story and what my journey was all about. It was quite surprising actually! It was also interesting to see the APS work in action! This wasn’t just a thank you social hour but to remind them that there is so much more to accomplish within this non-profit organization. Claire and Adam really show how a small non-profit organization is really run by getting out in the community and keeping your organization’s name in the rotation. That is what I learned from this late night work event! Cheers to that!

I am wrapping up my final weeks at APS, there were a few computer issues when APS moved and had to wait a few days to get up and running again to speedily recover lost time on their APS HISTORY PROJECT that I am hopeful to present to them as a gift before I leave by July 31st! It has been a great and interesting internship that I definitely needed to see what else was out there in the community.

Until next week. Feverishly typing and arranging my project! See the post below about the social that took place for their members

Job Alert: Seasonal Positions at Jackson County Historic Sites

The Historic Sites and Outdoor Education Department of the Jackson County Parks and Recreation is looking for two people to join the teams working at Missouri Town 1855 and Fort Osage National Historic Landmark. These seasonal, part-time, paid positions are perfect for public-historians-in-the-making. Staff will have the opportunity to dress in period clothing, interpret at living history sites, work with students, and more.

To Apply and for more information, click on the links below:

Job Alert: John Wornall House Weekend Manager

Position Summary:
The Weekend Manager at the John Wornall House is primarily responsible for giving public tours, opening and closing the Museum, providing support to volunteer docents and  administrative support to staff. This is a part-time (11-hours/week) hourly, non-exempt position that reports to the Director of Public Programming and Events. Core hours are Saturdays-Sundays, flexible hours depending on the event schedule. Museum background preferred.

Duties and Responsibilities:
• Perform the regular procedures to open and close the House, preparing it for public tours.
• Give public tours as needed and provide support to volunteer docents.
• Participate in group visits such as school and scouting field trips by giving tours and implementing program activities.
• Access the database to look up and enter data for members and donors.
• Answer the phones and take messages.
• Process admissions, gift shop sales, and other payments such as program and event tickets and memberships.
• Prepare and reconcile the cash box.
• Complete administrative projects as assigned by the Executive Director, and the Director of Public Programming and Events.
• Assist the Volunteer Manager in recruiting, training, scheduling, supervising, and recognizing volunteer docents for public tours.
• Assist the Volunteer Manager in the development an annual appreciation program for volunteers.
• Assist the Volunteer Manager in scheduling group tours and field trips and securing the volunteers and staff as needed.
• Assist the Director of Public Programming and Events with curriculum development for camps (i.e. summer, winter, spring break).

Other Responsibilities:
• Maintain an inviting and presentable environment of the facilities and grounds.
• Be available to work with staff on educational and fundraising events for the Wornall/Majors House Museums (WMHM).
• Other duties as assigned.

• Commitment to the mission, vision, and strategic direction of the WMHM.
• Strong attention to detail and ability to work both independently and as a team player.
• Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to multitask effectively and work flexibly and productively.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills including outstanding aptitude in customer service.
• Experience in museums and/or nonprofits.
• Willingness to foster the mission and values of WMHM by being an active, passionate member of our staff.

Compensation: Pay rate $10.00 per hour.

To apply send resume to:
Kerrie Nichols, Executive Director

Jackson County Historical Society – Wilborn Negative Collection Archive Internship and Alexander Majors Barn – Collections & Research Internship

My name is Michael Spachek and I have been working with the Jackson County Historical Society this summer as they process the Wilborn Negative Collection and with the Alexander Majors as a Collections and Research Intern.

JCHS Wilborn Negative Collection Archive

The collection contains an estimated 500,000 historic images of Kansas City from the early 1900s to 2006. My main responsibility is to organize the collection into a system that meets archival standards and will be more user friendly in the future. Eventfully, the Wilborn Collection will be digitized and made available to the public online by Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021. I have been involved with similar photographic collections in the past, but nothing this large.

So far, the most challenging part of the internship has been the size of the collection. Before I began, I thought I had a good understanding of how to process photo negative collections. Unsurprisingly, I was wrong. That hubris formed the bases for the most important lesson of the summer. In my previous experience, I did not feel like I had to be as rigorous in my processing and I made plenty of mistakes because of it. Part of that was, as an undergraduate, not knowing any better but it was also working with small collections where mistakes were easy to fix. The second I saw the boxes where the collection is held, I knew I had to become much more detailed in my approach to processing. Thanks to the help of the Jackson County staff, I have done just that. They taught me the proper way to put a collection into an organized system of box and file numbers and how to describe each file. I have learned to double check each box as I complete it to make sure the files are in order. Needless to say, I am much better prepared for a career in public history now then I was a few short weeks ago.

Alexander Majors Barn – Collections & Research Internship

In addition to the Jackson County Historical Society, I am also interning for the Alexander Majors House Museum this summer. For this internship, I am processing their collection of blacksmithing tools and creating an exhibit that is focused on blacksmithing in the 19th century and the role of skilled slave labor on the Majors property in the 1850s. The first step was separating the blacksmithing tools from the random assortment of other objects. Right now, I am beginning to research the individual tools to determine if they fall into the Museums timeframe of the 1850s to the 1880s. The final product will be an interpretive space that educates the public on this topic.

The Museum has a wide variety of visitors and the exhibit will need to be appropriate for all ages. That has challenged me to really think about how to interpret very serious topics like slavery for children and adults. I am not quite sure how I will do that yet but the process has been enlightening. However, that is not the only the challenge of this internship. I have very little blacksmithing knowledge so it has been a test of my research skills to learn about these objects.

This has been a very educational experience for me because it has combined all aspects of research, collections management, and interpretation into one project. I have worked on exhibits in the past where I was responsible for just the research or just the interpretation but I have never been solely responsible for the entire project. It is intimidating knowing that I have no one to blame but myself if the project does not meet my standards. By having control of all aspects of the exhibit, it has forced me to grow as a public historian and an educator. I am looking forward to the completion of this project and the knowledge that I have what it takes to make it as a professional historian.

Unpaid Internship: Photographs and Prints Internship, Missouri Historical Society

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, MO (Summer 2018)

The Missouri Historical Society is accepting applications from students who are interested in an unpaid internship within our photographs and prints department at the Library & Research Center. This position will report directly to the photographs and prints archivist.

The intern will work on completing an inventory of 1950s-era photographic negatives from the St. Louis Public Schools Photograph Collection. The intern will compare negatives to a listing of images; learn to identify film types, and evaluate and record their conditions; arrange the film in appropriate storage containers; and record their locations. The ideal candidate will have strong attention to detail and an interest in photographic history.

The work schedule is flexible, with hours typically between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. A minimum of 15 hours of work per week is required. The final schedule will be determined with the supervisor.

The ideal candidate will be an undergraduate majoring in library science, history, American studies, or a similar field of study. Some experience with Adobe Photoshop is preferred. The ideal candidate will also be detail oriented and have strong written communication skills.

To apply for this position, please submit a résumé to Vicki Kaffenberger and Tamaki A. Harvey Stratman at and Candidates will then be directed to complete a full application. If selected for an interview, candidates will be asked to supply two references.

For questions, please contact: Vicki Kaffenberger at or Tamaki A. Harvey Stratman at

The Missouri Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that serves as the confluence of historical perspectives and contemporary issues to inspire and engage audiences.

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

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

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 chock-full 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 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