My 12 weeks of interning are drawing to a close-I have two more days as an employee of this amazing institution and then I have to return to being an everyday student once again. One of the most amazing things about this internship has been that I have learned something new almost everyday.
Even in this last week I have started a new project. The pictures Chris and I took of all the Lihir material are finally going to be attached to the museum's database. Each artifact has a file in the database with different information, uncluding pictures, sound clips and scanned images of catalog cards. The Lihir objects already have their sound clips of Kirsty Gillespie talking about them, they have their catalog cards which I scanned, and now they are about to get their pictures. It is not as easy as uploading the pictures and dragging them to the correct folder, however. Chris and I had to go through several steps to get the pictures in the correct format to be attached to the data base. The pictures, most of which were originally shot as JPEG's, first needed to be turned into TIFF files. Then they were renamed in a very specific format that indicated the object's number and that fact that it was related to Kirsty's visit. Next the pictures were cropped to the correct size. Finally the pictures were resized so that they can be easily viewed in the database. After all this the pictures are ready to be attached to their object's file.
I was very happy to be able to view this entire process of photography. I was able to participate in every step of this project from Kirsty visit, to the photogrphy itself and finally to attaching the photo's in the database. It is so rewarding to know that I assisted in a project which enhanced the information availible for the museum's 70 Lihir objects.
Throughout my time here this summer I have scanned catalog cards and accession files, made bar codes and boxes, and done photography and visitor observations, yet I have learned so much more than. I have learned about what goes on behind the scenes in a museum, and how it gets done. Learning about the politics of the museum world was truly gratifying. Because I saw so many different aspects of museum life I now have a much more detailed picture of what it means to be a collections manager in a museum like the Field. I have enjoyed my time here immensely, and will continue to seek out work in the museum world when I graduate. I hope that I will someday be able to return to this museum as an employee once again!