Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center, Photo: Colleen Curry

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still waiting to get started...

This afternoon, I found out that my security check still hasn't passed. I had today off because of this, and will also have tomorrow off. I guess they are just waiting for my fingerprints to clear from the FBI. Let's hope this is figured out by the end of the week so I can get started!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First day (kind of)

Today, all of the interns arrived at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center (HRC) at 8:00 AM for orientation. This was supposed to be our first day of work, but only one of the interns’ security background check had passed, so we were given our intern handbooks, a tour of the facility, and brought to get decals for our vehicles so we can enter the park after work every day. 

I was really impressed with the HRC facility. The museum storage space is amazing and the collection is really wonderful. I am really excited to work with it and I know I am going to learn a lot. I am most excited about the variety of objects in the museum collection. They have a lot of artwork, including over 20 original Thomas Moran watercolors of the park, early photographs and posters of the park, and a large postcard collection. There is also a sizeable collection of natural history specimens, including taxidermied animals, animal skeletons, and wet specimens. They have a fantastic collection of furniture from the park’s historic hotels, many of which no longer exist. I am especially excited to work with their collection of Native American objects.

The interns will be working collaboratively to create a new exhibit for the lobby of the HRC, a project I am really excited about. There is a large backlog of objects that need to be accessioned, and a postcard collection that needs to be digitized. I know I am going to have a great experience here this summer, and can’t wait to begin!  

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This inspiring film pretty well sums up the reasons I am entering the museum field. Museums really do matter. In the midst of tough economic times, this video is an important reminder of the inherent value of museums to society.

"Spark" was created by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in cooperation with the American Association of Museums.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


As part of my academic requirements, this blog will follow my activities and experiences as a museum intern at the NPS Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Montana from May through August of 2009. The HRC is an 32,000 square foot collection management facility that houses the 5.3 million items in Yellowstone's enormous archives, library, and museum collection and features a small rotating exhibit space.

This will be my first museum internship, so I am looking forward to learning a lot this summer. I will be working closely with the supervisory museum curator, Colleen Curry. My responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
  • Cataloging objects
  • Scanning historic photographs and logging them into the ANCS+ collections database
  • Interpreting exhibits and giving tours of the storage areas
  • Working on rotating exhibits for the museum space
  • Performing collections management work for the museums in the park's interior
  • Meeting with other branch staff (historian, archivist, librarian, anthropologist, historic architect, archaeologist, wildlife biologist, fisheries staff, biologist)
  • Working with five other interns (one museum intern, two library interns, and two archival interns)
I am a graduate student in the Museum Studies program at the University of Florida. This spring I finished the first of three years in the program. My interdisciplary focus is history, specifically the history of the American West and I will also pursue a certificate in historic preservation. My dream job is a position with the National Park Service, so this internship is a step in the right direction. I hope you enjoy my blog!