Harpers Ferry Internship Photos

Harpers Ferry Photo Descriptions

Picture #1: During the summer of my internship, a new outdoor exhibit was created showing laundresses and the laundry process typical during the Civil War when Harpers Ferry was occupied by Federal troops.  This picture shows me demonstrating how laundry was done to a visitor.  Children, especially, were encouraged to try out scrubbing clothes on the wash boards to fully experience this nineteenth century task.

Picture #2: Part of my job as a Park Ranger included participating in a theatrical team of 12 people from different departments in the interpretive branch of the park.  We were given the task of creating historically themed plays for the public.  Some of our plays involved audience participation to get them actively engaged in the story being presented.  This picture shows one such activity we offered.  Here, I taught audience members a typical nineteenth dance--the Snowball Reel.

Picture #3: At the park, the Living History staff attempts to portray history beyond simple exhibit interpretation or guided tours.  Demonstrations play a large part in how we teach the public history where staff actually live history.  I participated in this interactive teaching by often cooking over an open fire using the utensils and techniques popular in the nineteenth century.  This picture depicts such a cooking demonstration at our annual 1864 Farmers Market event.

Picture #4: My uniform at Harpers Ferry consisted of nineteenth century clothing.  From the park's clothing collection and pieces I personally owned, I portrayed history to visitor through what I wore.  This picture shows me wearing an upper-class woman's hooped dress made of taffeta.  Additionally, while working, I also wore clothing representative of a working class woman's attire.  Whenever firing weapons or portraying military activities, I would wear typical nineteenth century men's attire (shown in pictures 7, 9, and 12), both military and civilian.

Picture #5:  As an intern, our first interpretive event, titled Defend and Protect: The Guns of Harpers Ferry, required us to become familiar with the history of Harpers Ferry and the various weapons produced quickly.  This picture shows one of the tables I was responsible for interpreting.  Here I showcase the Hall 1819 Breech Loading Rifle which I interpreted for visitors coming to the exhibit along with the stories associated with it.

Picture #6: Frequently throughout my summers at Harpers Ferry, live weapons demonstrations were given.  Towards the beginning of my internship I was trained in the proper safety and operating procedures for historic eighteenth and nineteenth century weapons.  This picture shows me firing a reproduction 1795 Harpers Ferry Musket for a gun tour for several visitors. 

Picture #7: This picture shows the training involved to shoot these historical weapons.  Military protocol of the time period needed to be followed exactly for each weapon.  In order to safely and effectively demonstrate these weapons, we were taken through military drills several time to perfect our technique.  In learning how to shoot these weapons, I was able to further understand the experience men shooting these weapons had, what they felt, saw, and heard.  Here, I am depicted training in the firing procedures of the Hall 1819 Rifle.

Picture #8: During my summer as a Park Ranger, we put on an event showcasing late eighteenth-century to early nineteenth century spinning technology and techniques.  For this special event, I dressed in early American era clothing as a spinster, spinning wool into thread on a walking loom--a typical practice of women prior to marriage during that time.  This picture shows me wearing the clothing and demonstrating spinning techniques of the era.

Picture #9: In conjunction with the subject of picture #2, this photo also depicts more of my participation in the theater project team.  We brought in several themes and historical stories into our performances including the Civil War, John Brown's Raid, and nineteenth century daily life.  This picture shows one such performance where our team illustrated John Brown's Raid of 1859.

Picture #10:  My internship experience exposed me to several areas of nineteenth century life including horticulture.  The park operates and runs a typical personal garden owned historically by the Pay Master or the Harpers Ferry Armory.  This picture shows examples of some of the produce grown in the garden representative of fruits and vegetables from the nineteenth century.

Picture #11: Harpers Ferry has a significant history in America's Civil War, with battles being fought near and in the town.  Several weekends throughout the year, the park puts on an artillery demonstration in order to commemorate the Battle of Boliver Heights in 1862.  Part of my training included drills in nineteenth century artillery procedures in order to participate in these artillery firing demonstrations.  This picture shows one such artillery event that was held while I worked in Harpers Ferry in which I participated in the firing crew manning the artillery piece.

Picture #12: For some events, our exhibits were crowded with people all wanting to see and hear what we had to present.  My internship helped me develop the skill of interpreting to any number of people ranging from a variety of ages and backgrounds.  This picture shows one event where I needed to put my interpretive skills to the test. 

Picture #13: In working closely with my supervisor, Ranger Melinda Day, I received training in what could be termed the domestic arts.  Training in this area included cooking (over an open fire and on a nineteenth century cook stove), sewing on a treadle machine, gardening, spinning, and hat making.  This picture shows me operating an ice cream maker, a popular device over the summer. 

Picture #14: Often, some of the most curious visitors coming to exhibits I staffed were children.  I truly enjoyed interpreting to these particular types of visitors as they always asked questions freely in seeking to understand the things around them.  This picture shows one memorable moment I experienced with a child visitor.  The little girl in this photo came to my table brimming with questions.  The conversation I had with her challenged my methods of explanation and helped make me a better interpreter.

Picture #15: Part of my internship involved thorough training on all devices in the park, their safety and operating procedures.  In addition to firing and cleaning historic weapons, I was taught how to operate the park's blacksmith shop.  This training resulted in the creation of our very own s-hook, shown in the picture.  Learning such procedures helped make understanding the lives of the people living in Harpers Ferry deeper.  I found that training in these various areas added to the knowledge I could share with visitors.

Pennsylvania State Archives Phots

Archives Photo Descriptions

Picture #1: During my internship at the Archives, I worked with Digital Archivists Kurt Bell and Sharon Nelson, pictured here.  These two mentors provided the bulk of my instruction in and introduction to archive work.

Picture #2: Over the course of my internship, I was given several projects to work on.  This picture shows one such project which involved large stacks of insurance reports made to the State of Pennsylvania.  I was responsible for cataloguing each report into an Excel spreadsheet which was later used to create a series description for the insurance report collection.

Picture #3: Once a week, I worked with archivist Steve Noel in preserving several Civil War Muster-Out Rolls.  I cleaned these large documents using a variety of tools shown in the picture.  Each document required close care and attention with specific cleaning procedures.

Picture #4: This picture shows one Civil War Muster-Our Roll which I cleaned from start to finish.  Each document came to the Archives in a different condition.  Some remained intact while others, such as the one pictured, came in pieces which would later be mended back together.

Picture #5: The cleaning process involved a variety of steps.  One, pictured here, involved what was termed 'crumbing,' where fine eraser crumbs were moved across the document in circles for 20 minutes per section using an eraser to carefully remove any dirt on the document.

Picture #6: Since the documents are fragile and tear easily, weights were applied around each area being crumbed.  This picture shows another document I cleaned which came in one piece.

Picture #7: Another task I did once a week was page.  When patrons came to the archives to do research, they would request items from storage.  They were required to fill out a form, shown here, which gave information to the page as to the items contents and location.  Materials at the State Archives are stored in an 18-story tower, so when I was on call to be a page, I went retrieved items from various floors. 

Picture #8: Part of my internship included observing and learning the various tasks of a digital archivist.  My supervisor introduced to me one of his tasks by showing me how to make copies of large documents.  If a patron requests a copy of a document larger than a standard copier can handle, a special machine is used to make the copy.  I was shown how to operate this copier and then generated a copy, shown here.

Picture #9: One of the projects I worked on throughout my internship was with a manuscript group dealing with the Baldwin-Hamilton Railroad Company old card system engineer drawings.  I examined each drawing, shown here, and inputted any numerical data into a spreadsheet.  These drawings came with a variety of data that needed to be decoded and recorded.  This particular drawing pictured has a fair amount of data that I needed to process.

Picture #10: Much of my work involved inputting data into a variety of program on the computer.  This picture shows the Access database I worked in to record information about particular record groups I was assigned. 

Picture #11: This picture shows another view of the Access database I worked in.  Here, more detailed information was put in for more permanent storage to be used in the future.

Picture #12: Each Baldwin railroad drawing I processed contained a lot of information.  From these drawings I filled in hundreds of rows of data into an Excel spreadsheet, pictured here.

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