I wanted to share a bit of what I am doing at my internship at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum! I spend a good amount of my time down in the basement working with the collections, completing projects for the Curator of Collections & Exhibits, Jodi. Although it seems as if I would be doing a lot of data-entry work (and I am), I actually like to think of my work as playing history detective (I get to live out my childhood goal of becoming a Baker Street Irregular)! When I am handed artifacts, I am essentially asked to look at the objects, photographs, or documents and determine what it is as a stand-alone object, but to also see how it plays a role in Juneau’s history.
However, it is not always about attempting to decipher an individual’s signature (I have a new found appreciation for print writing and text), identifying a person, or figuring out a date range for an object. When I am working downstairs, I actually get to do and see a variety of things. Just this week, I was given the opportunity to help put together a puzzle that was recently accessioned by the museum (nope, I don’t do ‘real’ work, whatever that is)!
I am slowly learning more and more about Juneau’s history simply by reading previously printed newspaper articles, old correspondences, and former court documents (did you know that they once charged a profanity fine of $1.50?). What is really amazing is that some of the collections I have read through and input into the database are from the late 1800s. I love that it is not something I am looking at in a history book, I get to hold it in my hands.