I held the NEH Curatorial Internship during the academic year 2009–2010. The first half of it took place at the University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives, where I worked with the papers of the Education Department. I was responsible for processing about two dozen boxes of papers from the late 1970s to the end of the twentieth century. The project was divided into three stages. First, I prepared a full inventory of the material. The papers then had to be sorted in a meaningful way, keeping their original organization as far as possible, and intervening when necessary to make the records easier to access for researchers. The last phase involved the creation of an electronic finding aid, a guide to the collection that outlines its history and scope, describes the contents of each series of documents, and lists the folders into which the records are divided.
For the second half of the internship, I worked with a group of approximately 300 terracotta figurines in Bryn Mawr’s collections, mostly Greek and Roman products donated by alumnae and faculty members. Since they were acquired under differing circumstances, the information available on them varied widely in quantity and quality. A few pieces were published in journals or exhibition catalogues, while several others were discussed in senior theses or class papers. More often, however, all that was known about these artifacts was limited to the contents of the old catalog cards. The main goal of the project was to provide each object with a minimum of standardized information. Once the work had progressed, I also gathered details about the iconography and the possible function of the artifacts.