My name is Andrea Meyers and I am a student at Central Michigan University. I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in History with a Museum Studies minor. As my Archives internship at the Clarke Historical Library winds to a close, it is time to reflect on all that I have learned under the guidance of my professor, Marian Matyn. Going in to this internship, I already had basic processing skills due to Marian’s Archival Administration class and felt very confident about my archival abilities. Looking back to the beginning, I now realize that those skills were nothing compared to what I have learned over the course of these past weeks. The first valuable thing that I have learned is that archivists must be adaptable. This skill comes in handy especially when dealing with multiple collections at the same time. I have learned that each collection that is donated must be assessed differently based on their historical significance. No one collection is the same and has the same type of information within it. An archivist must be able to adapt to each collection differently in order to retain the best and most relevant information to researchers. The second thing that I have learned while completing my internship is that archivists must think quick on their feet and possess boundless problem solving skills. When I first started my internship, the Clarke received a large donation from the Luedtke Construction Company. Looking at a truck full of boxes, I was quickly overwhelmed with how to approach a collection of this magnitude. As I turned to my professor, Marian already had a plan on how to separate the collection into a series and how I was to process these boxes into a clear and concise box and folder listing. The last valuable thing that I have learned while at my internship is to respect and adhere to archival processing theories! The theory that I have come to respect the most is original order. There are too many ways in which an archivist can process information, such as by date, by type, or by historical significance. In keeping their original order of collections, such as with the Luedtke Construction Company donation, not only does the information stay the same way in which the creator used it, but it naturally provides the most effective way for researchers to use the information as well. As my internship is comes to an end, I now see that I have learned many things, both general and specific that I will now be able to take with me in my career.
Thank you Andrea. Great job this summer.