Monday, June 22, 2009

The Secret Lives of Interns: Week 3

Marketing Intern Rebecca Berg puts her nose to the grindstone!

This week we welcomed yet another intern into the flock, Rebecca Berg. Rebecca is splitting her time between marketing and programs and we lost no time in putting her to work!

Monday, Alison got a real taste of what it means to work at a small museum!

This past week I learned that jobs working in a museum are not always as glamorous as they may seem on the outside and you get distracted very easily. For example, I was on my way down in the basement to take the temps and humidity on Monday and was pulled into storage room 1 to help (just for a minute...) with putting up shelving. About an hour and a half later, we had moved 2 shelves and added 2 on the top. While this may not have been what I had planned for the day, it was something that needed to be done. Like I've often heard at JMM - it was "all hands on deck." – Alison

Karen explains the finer points of pulling objects for research.

Kim and Abby also spent some time in the basement Monday and Tuesday, assisting curator Karen Falk who is working on an upcoming Jewish foodways exhibition.

Abby fills out a separation sheet for this historic samovar.

Tuesday saw the second round of Collections Committee Meetings. At this meeting a committee made up of Museum Board Members, experts from other institutions and qualified community members listen to the recommendations from staff regarding all the donations proffered to the JMM in the past 3 months.

[An] interesting item from my week was definitely finding out the information about the "BEEhive" Handbag. Interviewing Mr.Stappler was intriguing because I found out new information from what was presumed about the bag. Although there is still more research to be done on it, I feel like I made a drastic discovery that changed the thought of Collections staff on that certain object. -Sean

Wednesday began on a somber note, with a special security meeting in the wake of the prior week’s incident at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. After the seminar, collections interns dove head first into OBJECT INVENTORY! Every three years we look at every single object in the museum collection and update its database record to make sure that everything is in its place. With over 6,000 3-dimensional objects alone, this can be a daunting tack! But our interns know no fear and by week’s end had completed just under 10% - in only 3 days. No mean feat that!

Wow...that's a lot of shelves. See Sean aaaaallll the way back there?

Because I'm vertically challenged I had a hard to reaching on the top shelf. Alison kindly offered a hand and we began doing inventory of an entire range. We recorded items like vintage kitchen appliances, plaques, statues, and a few ceremonial objects. - Kim

Kim doesn't let her "vertical challenges" get in the way of inventory!

Berkley uses sweet tunes to spur her along.

The most exciting part this week for me was Collections inventory. I was expecting to go through the database first and then go and check from there, but we actually went to the artifacts and objects and went from shelf to shelf. The intricate detail that the JMM continues to surprise me with is amazing. I know it is a necessary evil but it seems to be to another level of specificity. The database entry after inventory for half the day is monotonous but I like it. – Sean

Collections Inventory certainly wasn't the only thing going on at the museum this week. Interns talk about some of their other projects below:

Some additional things I did this week in the museum was working on my project with Jennifer going over the LSS and taking pictures of the work being done, and its current state. We walked throughout the Synagogue and found new objects that had been unearthed since construction had taken place. I am excited for what more is to come and look forward to everyone viewing the pictures. - Berkley

Jennifer teaches Alison the ins-and-outs of archiving.

By the end of the week I began to start on a very exciting project: constructing a Library policy. This policy will be a little different than most because the JMM does not loan but I'm excited about constructing this policy. - Kim

I have been working on a project to turn the Leo Burger Immigrant's Trunk into lesson plans and activities suitable for young children. It has been enjoyable thinking of games and materials that can be used for early childhood education. The other day I came up with the idea to make a board game, Golden Land (based on Candy Land). - Amanda

Sean spends some quality time with the computer. Hope that pencil tastes good!

I flew out to Boise, where my sister and her fiance live, on Tuesday to help out with their wedding. I was put to work as soon as I arrived, and have been weeding their vegetable garden, painting their deck, and mowing their lawn... with a push lawn mower. Needless to say, I've been spending a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful, humidity-free Boise weather. I also had the chance to edit and upload the food photography I did while in Florida – check out the photos at: ( - Shelby

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