This week’s “Found in the Archives” post is a very special one for us. We had the pleasure of having an amazing group of young women as our summer interns this year. Thanks to their hard work and dedication we were able to accomplish more this summer than we could have imagined.
So we posed the question to them of “what did I do during my summer vacation at the FDR Library” and here are their stories about some of their experiences.
My name is Ali and I am a graduate student at Simmons College in Boston, MA, working toward a degree in Library Science. This summer I am an intern at the Library. As an intern, I’ve been assigned a variety of projects ranging from data entry to compiling a list of resources for researchers.
My favorite project this summer has been researching the life of Margaret Suckley and writing a short biography. Margaret was a distant cousin of President Roosevelt’s, a close friend, and one of the first archivists at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.
I spent time learning about her and how she lived her life. I was even able to look through some of her papers; the Library has a small collection donated by Margaret. Her papers contain a variety of material. There are fun things, such as letters from school children asking questions about Fala, and work related material, like an old code of conduct handbook. Being able to look through Margaret’s papers was what made this project unique. Seeing notes she wrote and records she kept makes her real in a way that other research cannot. I learned about her life using books and the Internet, but I learned about what kind of person she was through her own papers. It’s been a great summer and an excellent learning experience, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.
During my internship at Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, I had the honor to work with a wonderful staff who taught me the art of archiving. I come from a library science background focusing on digital image management and rarely study or research archives. My stay at FDR allowed me to explore a different entity of information and library science.
One of my more elaborate and interesting projects at FDR was to work with Ali Caron, another summer archiving intern, and create an artificial collection on Pearl Harbor. This was my first time working with archives and with the help of the FDR staff, Ali and I successfully completed our summer project; in addition, I had my first time experience writing a finding aid for our artificial collection, collaborating research information with Ali to create our Pearl Harbor Guide, and create a collection box containing Pearl Harbor information from December 6, 1941, to December 8, 1941. This artificial collection will be available for researchers to use.
I also had the opportunity to perform historical research using the library’s primary sources on FDR’s speech writing. This was an exciting project since I got to view some of President Roosevelt’s Master Speeches which include: The Banking Crisis (Fireside Chat #1), 1st Inaugural Address, and Day of Infamy Speech. I examined all three speeches and analyzed FDR’s writing style and technique. My article will be featured on the library’s website and it is an honor to have researchers and the staff read my work.
My summer internship has been a wonderful invaluable experience that I will always remember.
My summer internship at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library has been an enriching and educational experience. As I am still completing my education as an undergraduate Library Science student, this internship has given me my first opportunity to gain hands-on experience with archives. With the guidance of the archives staff, I was able to better understand the work of an archivist and even construct my first finding aid.
This finding aid was a part of the Oral History Project I was responsible for. I was able to digitize the Eleanor Roosevelt Oral History Transcripts and compose a finding aid to accompany the documents. These transcripts will eventually be available for online viewing.
The greatest opportunity I had during my internship was being able to do historical research on FDR regarding his polio attack. I was able to view and handle all of the documents and photographs pertaining to FDR and polio. In completing this research, I composed a web article dealing with FDR’s polio attack and its effects on his career and health. I also was able to digitize the entire Infantile Paralysis folder from FDR’s Family, Business, Personal Collection which contains historical documents concerning FDR’s contraction of the disease. This folder in its entirety as well as my web article will now be available online for the use of researchers. I am privileged to have my work featured and greatly appreciative of all I have been able to learn and accomplish this summer at the FDR Presidential Library.