What I Did On My Summer Vacation

2012/09/11 § Leave a comment

This summer I interned at the Oskar Diethelm Library, DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College. Actually, it was a continuation of my spring semester internship, in which I inventoried, rehoused, and cataloged the 500 objects in the Prints and Photographs Collection. Part of that collection was made up of a smaller collection of 19th century trade cards, which was the focus of my summer project.

I build a digital archive and online exhibit based on these trade cards on a website built for libraries and museums called omeka.net that’s basically a publishing platform much like wordpress.com. (There’s another version called omeka.org that is an open source, hosted software that’s much more complicated, much like wordpress.org.) My work involved inventorying and cataloging the trade cards at the item level, where before I had just entered them as a single entry in the Prints and Photographs Collection catalog; setting up the omeka site, digitizing the cards, and entering the files and metadata in the archive; researching trade cards, patent medicines, and 19th century medical history; and finally, writing the exhibit and setting it up correctly online in the same platform as the archive itself.

It was a lot of work, and there were quite a few days I yelled at my computer a lot (I think once my boss even came to check on me) but in the end, I’m very proud of what I accomplished this summer. It’s a nice addition to my portfolio, showing off my pro-librarian skills and mad historian background.

[When you’re done laughing, click here and check it out! This link will take you straight to the exhibit, while this link will take you to the front page of the omeka site itself.]

You can also check out my practicum project here! This will tell you all about my day to day doings, my literature review, and the mini paper I wrote so I could get credit for my time at ODL.

And while we’re at it, my portfolio is here if anyone is interested in reading any of my work I’ve done in grad school.

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