Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Internship in the Outer Banks: Collection Closing

Twelve papercuts. Four knuckle abrasions. Three split cuticles. I have finally finished unboxing, foldering, labeling, alphabetizing, and reboxing my collection. 161 archival boxes and 905 folders. In seven weeks. My hands and fingers took a much-needed break this past weekend! 

While I’m trying to revel in my sense of accomplishment, I still have two weeks left in my internship. I want to soak in as many additional experiences as possible. There’s a four-shelf display cabinet for an exhibit on my collection in wait. A finding aid that wants to be written. A coffee with my collection’s donor to share. A podcast with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to record. An oral history with a descendant of the original Outer Banks seafood empire to conduct. Just as my to-do list has reached zero, I have filled it back up. 

When I accepted this position for the summer, I made a promise to myself to embrace the slower pace of rural, island life as an antidote to the frenetic energy of studying for two masters heaped on top of Boston’s own frenetic pule. It’s a promise I have kept in parts, mostly thanks to morning coffee dates with a good book on the second-story porch before work. But now as I survey the stacks filled with my collection – oh, the satisfaction of filled shelves! – I hope to return to my original promise as I soak up the many experiences yet-to-be-had all while taking the time to simply enjoy being by the beach or on the porch of this little island I’ve called home this summer.