Summer 2014 Interns at the National Archives at College Park

Today’s post was written by Dr. Tina Ligon, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, MD.

This summer, the National Archives at College Park brought in nine interns from across the country to learn about the archival profession. The interns had the opportunity to assist in customer service and with several current processing projects, under the guidance of archivists and an archives specialist. Below are brief descriptions of the interns’ experiences at the National Archives.

2014 summer interns-res
L to R: Summer Interns Benjamin, Delaney, Peyton, Delany, Archivist Tina Ligon, Interns Conor, Chris, Mary and Mark (Damon Turner not pictured)


Peyton Brown (Mary Washington University)

Project: Registered Product Labels Processing Project

“As an intern this summer at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland, I worked with patents for labels dating from 1874 to 1940. My job was to take the information from the patents and put it into a computer system [Holding Maintenance and Sofa System] to make it available online. I scanned particularly important patents so that their images will be available online as well. Throughout my internship, the archivists I was privileged to meet at NARA have been extremely helpful in instructing me and answering all of my questions regarding a career in the archival field. My experience here at the National Archives has been truly valuable because of the knowledge and experience I have gained.”

Chris Carter (University of Maryland, College Park)

Project: 2014 Description Project

“Before starting work in January, my experience was in smaller archives without the large quantities of records found here at the National Archives. I knew describing the records here in College Park would be like nothing I had done before, and so I was eager to learn what I could from my co-workers here at the National Archives. Along the way, I provided accession-level description for the records of the United States Army, Pacific; the Department of Education; and the Forest Service. I described these records for the benefit of researchers. I also learned how to look through the folder titles for ARC [Archival Research Catalog]-compliant titles and through the contents of the folders for creating organizations, not always an easy task. While browsing these records, I learned the intricacies of FOIA and how it affects user access of the records. I continue to look forward to learning more here at the National Archives in College Park.”

Delaney Cruickshank (College of Charleston)

Project: Reference and Customer Service

“Working for the National Archives has been a wonderful experience. Everyone has been so friendly, and I’m learning a lot about the archival process. I love the fact that I can work directly with not just the researchers, but the records themselves. Thanks to this internship, I am considering becoming an Archivist after I graduate college.”

Delaney Cummings (Coe College)

Project: RG 64 Records of the National Archives Processing Project

“I loved my experience as an intern at the Archives. This internship has allowed me to work alongside extremely talented Archivists who take interest in interns and have helped provide me with various opportunities to learn this summer. As an intern, I am working within one specific department which gives me an in depth understanding of the work done. Yet, included with that I am given the opportunity to tour different labs within Archives II, as well as tour Archives I. This gives me not only a further understanding of the different types of careers archivists can have, but also shows me how what I do plays a role at the Archives as a whole. I could not ask for a better, more welcoming agency to intern with this summer. The knowledge I am gaining will be immensely valuable for my future career.”

Mary Kendig (University of Maryland, College Park)

Project: Reference and Customer Service

“My exciting internship at the National Archives truly affected my college experience. It enabled me to work with military records and implement the information I learned in my college history courses. Due to my experience, I plan to enter the archival career. Originally, I thought I would become a high school history teacher or I would work at a museum. After working at NARA, I know without a doubt that I will go straight into graduate school to earn a master in library science. One day, I hope to return to NARA as a professional employee. I would recommend the National Archives to every student as an internship program. Even if one is not interested in the military, general history, or civilian records; there are other administrative opportunities at the archives, including human resources, accounting, and business administration. The atmosphere is ideal for beginning and advanced interns because all the employees are pleasant and well qualified. Regardless of the atmosphere and the experience, working at NARA is just plain fun. It’s rare to find a college internship that’s enjoyable and truly engages your educational goals; the National Archives fits both criteria.”

Mark A. Proctor (Stevenson University)

Project: “Subject Files, August 1943-1945” of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Digitization Project

“My experience at the National Archives was great. I got to work with actual records, get a behind- the-scenes look at what goes on at NARA, and learn about the many different ways in which NARA handles and deals with all types of records. While shadowing in the research room, I got to see firsthand the relationship NARA has with researchers, students, and professors who come in to find information for a paper or book they are writing. While interning, there was no shortage of work, and I was never bored. There was always something else productive to do. Everyone in my office was extremely nice, helpful, and welcoming when I first got here and this continued throughout my entire internship. This made me feel like I was a part of the team and not just some “intern,” which made this internship an experience to remember.”

Conor Snow (Goucher College)

Project: Reference and Customer Service

“I worked in the Textual Reference Department at the National Archives in College Park. I worked both behind the scenes and with the public, which provided me with a wonderful balance of working on my own and with researchers. Whilst in the research room, which could get very busy, I pretty much pointed researchers to the records that they needed. This can be a very difficult process for researchers of all experience levels, and it was my job to help them out. I got the opportunity to meet so many awesome people while working in the research room and learn from them as well. When I was not in the research room, I spent my time in my time responding to researchers’ letters from around the world. I absolutely loved my time spent as an intern at Archives II. It was truly an incredible opportunity to work with great staff, leaders and gain first-hand experience of life at the National Archives.”

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the interns and the hard work they accomplished and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.