Today was my fourth day at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I worked today from 9:15 to 2:15 for a total of five hours. I could move around quite seamlessly because I had my official badge on me today! Overall I had a really fun day and a really good first week! I’m certain the rest of my work will be a great time!
The first thing I did once I got settled in my work space was go right back to work on the second volume of records I was working on yesterday. This was Volume 14 of the Orphan Society of Philadelphia records, which dates from 1837-1840. Yesterday I had a lot of difficulty with physically reading the records, the shift in style from one volume to another was very dramatic. However, this morning I found some of the pages I had skipped over yesterday I had so much trouble reading them, so much easier to read today which was great!
I was able to get a decent chunk of work done in that book, reading over and making notes in Excel of a couple months of records took up a majority of my morning. I also met with my supervisor informally to basically touch base on internship things and updates on a revised version of my contract for the Practicum. I also asked if I could switch around my hours and work Tuesday to Friday next week, because The Historical Society would be closed for Memorial Day and I didn’t want to lose a chance to get hours and what not. It was all good, and I worked out a bunch of things, while also getting a lot of my records work done.
Another thing that happened today was my supervisor showed me the box that contains the folders of letters I’ll be working with during my internship. This was interesting, and I got really excited to start working with transcribing and my other duties. I just think it’s neat to be able to work with all these primary documents and especially after looking at all these records, gain a better perspective of this Philadelphia institution.
After all the discussions with my supervisor I went right back to work on the records and did that for the rest of the morning till I took a break for lunch. I was really worried I was going to get rained on because I didn’t pack an umbrella, but it all worked out. After I finished lunch, I decided to change things up and started reading through some of the letters to better familiarize myself with. I figured this was be just plain interesting, and it was also make them easier to transcribe once I got to that. It was really neat stuff, and I had a good time overall.
I’ve been having a fun time familiarizing myself and working with these documents. I know that my work here will have long term benefits for the institution and help out fellow researchers down the line in terms of connecting work to public history ideas. The process of my work with these materials will provide greater access to this information about a Philadelphia organization and shed light on charitable practices in the city.
Photo by Me: A post first week of internship treat!