Page in progress: media coming soon.
At the Virginia Historical Society, my primary role is assisting patrons in the Reading Room, through locating and retrieving research materials, fulfilling email and phone orders, and answering questions. I have enjoyed working with our patrons, from the beginning genealogist to the published historian, and learning about their research subject in the process.
Most excitingly, I have also had the opportunity to work on several projects interpreting the society’s vast collections to the public. I write blog posts featuring a particular item or theme which interpret Virginia’s history in an accessible way and increase awareness of the collections. These micro-research projects have given me a chance to practice writing about history for a public audience and curating from the archives for display online.
Programs and Education
On January 31, 2015, I led my first public program at the society in the form of a Behind the Scenes tour entitled “Virginia is For Lovers.” The 90-minute tour guided guests through the collections storage areas, and then through a curated group of manuscripts and museum objects that told love stories from Virginia history. I enjoyed selecting the stories to pull for the tour, researching each piece, and crafting and communicating a cohesive narrative to present. I especially enjoyed the theme, which seemed to resonate with many guests personally. One guest remarked that the tour gave her hope for modern-day love, because “people were crazy back then just like they are now.”
Through putting together this particular story, I sought to not only entertain but to put people and stories in historical context. The experience of planning and leading the tour confirmed my desire to focus on programs and education as I pursue a career in museums.