Friday, 24 June 2016




Welcome to the second instalment of the Internship Check-In for the class of 2017!

A message to my cohort: I hope you are all having amazing, productive, and meaningful experiences at your respective placements. To any incoming students: I think I can say on behalf of my class that the internship component of the MMSt program is a great experience that you can look forward to in the upcoming years (helpful tip: do NOT leave your Interim Report you the last minute - you will regret it for the rest of your life).

This is most of us working on our Interim Reports - don't be like us. Source.
As I am nearing the 10th week of my internship, the Interim Report is a distant memory and I living in daily disbelief at how fast the time has gone. Needless to say, it has been a busy few months. So, if you haven't had time for the coffee-wine-internship-download dates , I've got you covered.

Let's see what some pretty amazing people have been up to in some pretty amazing places... 

Jasmine Proteau - Time Zone: CEST (Central European Summer Time)  

Tell us where your internship is, what your position it, and when you started! My placement is in Florence, Italy, at the Kunsthistorisches Institut - which is a German art history library that is equal parts German and Italian. I started May 9th as a Curatorial Intern, so I will be coming home at the end of July. 

What excites you most about your internship position and/or organization? I think the opportunities I have been exposed to here are the most exciting part of my internship. I get to attend lectures, conferences, museums, presentation, and workshops on European history - particularly Renaissance Italy. There are so many museums here I still haven't seen them all, though I am slowly working on it!

I am also really lucky to get to work at the KHI because they do a lot of collaboration with heritage institutions throughout the city, particularly Harvard University's Villa i Tatti Institute at the Uffizi. This has allowed me to connect with other heritage professionals and academics. 

Tell us briefly about what you're working on! I've been working on two big projects while I am here - trying to take advantage of my environment. I have been creating a digital exhibition that I hope to release in the fall about guidebooks and tourism in 19th century Florence. I have also been working on a GSI project for DECIMA - a digital mapping tool of 16th century Florence - using a guidebook from 1591. I will be adding more guidebooks to observe visual changes in Florentine tourism over time. The projects are interrelated and I am learning a lot about the city and its urban development - plus there are some really cool things hidden in guidebooks and I'm always surprised at what I find.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish before the end of your placement? I hope I can finish my digital exhibition on time. Since there were 160 19th century guidebooks I had to go through before I could start actually writing any of the exhibition text, hopefully I can persuade the KHI to display it on their website. 

I am also hoping to have one really good conversation in Italian or German before I leave - I am still at a beginner level but I am hoping another month and a half might do the trick!

The only time I will probably ever get to use ciao bella in a caption, so thanks Jas.
Photo Source: Jasmine Proteau.

Christine Pennington - Time Zone: PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) 

Tell us where your internship is, what your position it, and when you started! I started as as Collections Intern at the Museum of Vancouver on May 3rd. 

What excites you most about your internship position and/or organization? It has been really interesting to be learning about collections work and developing new skills in a hands-on environment, while simultaneously learning about the history and culture of the place I grew up in (and hope to work some day). Although early collections practices focused on showcasing the world to Vancouver, the Museum of Vancouver now focuses on showcasing Vancouver to the world. I feel like I learn amazing things every day, whether they are collections-related skills or just fun facts about the most beautiful city in Canada (sorry Toronto). 

Contributor's Note: I agree and can't wait to be back home in the beauty of the West Coast in one month TODAY! 

Tell us briefly about what you're working on! I am mainly working on cataloguing and digitizing a collection of transit related material donated to the Museum last year. This collection of over 600 items showcases the history of transit in Vancouver, with material dating back to 1890. There are a variety of objects - from ephemera to paper documents to old transit uniforms - some of which post interesting challenges to describe, number, and digitize. 

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish before the end of your placement? With all the cataloguing and digitizing I have been doing it will be satisfying to complete the process by learning more about storage and long term care. I will be able to finally find the objects some permanent homes in the collections storage space.

#mood when your museum is so close to the ocean you can smell the salt water.
Photo Source: Christine Pennington

India Burchell - Time Zone: EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) 

Tell us where your internship is, what your position it, and when you started! I am interning at the Royal Ontario Museum here in Toronto. My position is Collections Intern in the Hands-On Discovery Gallery and I started about 6 weeks ago on 9th May.

What excites you most about your internship position and/or organization? Each day is different and that is exciting for me. I also like the fact that sometimes the day is filled with project work and other days I am out on the Discovery Gallery engaging with visitors. The Royal Ontario Museum is a really interesting place to be, there is so much going on and I am looking forward to a new exhibition opening very soon.

Tell us briefly about what you're working on! I have a number of projects which I am working on. I am re-organizing a collections cabinet; testing a Discovery Box on the topic of Viking Exploration; photographing artifacts; improving the microscope station which includes researching textiles, currency, stamps and facilitation cards (I have just finished one on an Elizabethan Shilling and I am hoping to write one on a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth replica). When I am not working on projects I am out in the Discovery Gallery at the dino dig or helmet stations engaging with visitors. I enjoy both project work and being in the gallery, it is always fun!

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish before the end of your placement? I hope to finish all of the projects I'm working on. Specifically, it would be great to see the improved microscope station finished and to see how visitors interact with the stamps, textiles and currency.

India and Bradford (the name I just made up for this dinosaur - maybe it will catch on?)
Photo Source: India Burchell

Claudia Palermo - Time Zone: EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

Where is your internship, what is your position, when did you start? My internship started on May 2nd, and I am a Collections Intern working with the City of Hamilton’s Tourism and Culture Division. The City of Hamilton collection includes artifacts from the city's eight museums as well as a corporate and a civic collection.

What excites you the most about your internship position and/or organization? I absolutely love that because of the nature of Hamilton’s Civic Museums, I get to work with not only a large sized government run institution, but also National Historic Sites, Historic Homes, and a small community museum on a daily basis! It is so rewarding being exposed to such drastically different sites. Not to mention its been hugely exciting being able to put what I’ve learned from Professor Cara Krmpotich to use on a daily basis!

Tell us briefly about what you're working on! I am a Collections Intern and my primary task for this internship is the “Deaccessioning Project”. This project is intended to free up valuable space in the City of Hamilton’s storage facility for more valuable objects that fit the City’s mandate, which will ultimately result in a more relevant collection that can receive better care and attention. These tasks involve presenting and defending lists of items for consideration.

My secondary task is spending time with the Conservator on staff in order to gain hands on preventative care and pest management experience.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish before the end of your placement? I really hope I get to see at least one deaccession list go through the deaccession process from start to finish! The deaccessioning project is a huge undertaking and unfortunately it is not something that I will be able to finish before the end of this internship.

Claudia working hard in the best coloured gloves for collections work, ever.
Photo Source: Claudia Palermo

Again, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to these hard working interns who keep the rest of us inspired and learning new things.

Someone had to drop the mic for these amazing ladies. Source.

If you have something to share about your internship - we would all love to hear from you! Leave your comment below and let's take turns sharing our experiences. 

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