It’s All Elementary, My Dear Readers

Hey there!

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.

All I need for work are my 'tools,' some artifacts, and my noggin! (photo credit: Priscilla Ly)

All I need for work are my ‘tools,’ some artifacts, and my noggin! (photo credit: Priscilla Ly)

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)!

This is the Collections Storage Room (I call it the 'evidence room') at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum! (photo credit: Priscilla Ly)

This is the Collections Storage Room at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum! (photo credit: Priscilla Ly)

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.

  4 comments for “It’s All Elementary, My Dear Readers

  1. Dan
    July 4, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    You don’t get to touch stuff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it’s pretty awesome being REALLY CLOSE to ancient Greek statues. There’s also this magic about seeing a Raphael or whatever in real life. This guy made this painting 500 years ago and I can see it today. It’s this this incredible connection. It sounds like you are feeling some of that, which is really nice.

  2. July 6, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    It is really fascinating!

  3. Emily
    July 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    What an incredible opportunity! Thanks for sharing with us!

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