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

Elizabeth Poland

Hi! My name is Elizabeth Poland and I am graduate student in the Cultural Heritage Informatics concentration here at Simmons SLIS. Growing up in southern Connecticut, I loved reading, writing, and creating all different kinds of art. In 2020, I received a BA from the University of Connecticut in Art History, with minors in Studio Art and English. After working in museum education at Old Sturbridge Village in central Massachusetts, I knew I wanted to dive deeper into the inner workings of museum collections. My goal is to combine my passion for history with hands-on approaches in a career in collection or preservation management.

In my free time I love to hike long distances, sew my own clothes, and paint portraits of people’s pets. Since moving to Boston, I’ve also been able to easily take peaceful walks through local museums, absorbing all that the city’s cultural heritage institutions have to offer.

Entries by Elizabeth Poland

  • Summer Courses

    June 20th marked the first day of an online summer course I’m taking at SLIS. The course is LIS 439: Preservation Management, and involves seven weeks of lectures, projects, and discussions on the topic of collection preservation mainly within archives. I am extremely excited for this course because preservation and collections management is what I want to do for a long-term career goal; my concentration is Cultural Heritage Informatics and I am trying to follow the Preservation track. I ultimately want to be caring for a museum collection or historical site’s archive, making sure that cultural heritage artifacts can continue being used to educate.  This first week has focused on classmate introductions and a preview of the theoretical aspects of preservation: why do we preserve archives? How do archivists’ biases affect our cultural history? What is permanence and can it ever be achieved? What does preservation look like in the 21st century? Many people are sharing their real-world experiences with archival preservation, whether it be at a job or internship, and what that exposure has…

  • Navigating Off-Campus Housing in Boston

    Moving out of Boston has been weighing heavy on my mind recently; I live with my boyfriend in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, and we are both itching for a bit of freedom from the hustle and bustle. My boyfriend has lived in the city for a few years and grew up in a town nearby, while I on the other hand grew up and lived in various parts of Connecticut until December of 2021. Now that the Spring semester has ended, I’m realizing that I’ve actually been extremely homesick. Not necessarily for Connecticut (no one is homesick for Connecticut, I can vouch for that), but for my high school and college friends, parents, grass, space to move, the sun! Our 450 sq. ft. basement apartment that seemed very cozy in December is now suffocating us. Compounded with us both getting covid recently, we are very ready to look outside and see greenery instead of traffic.  I should say, I do really love Boston. It is a beautiful, walkable city that has so many parks,…

  • First Semester End

    With only 2-3 weeks left of my first semester, I am feeling the pressure. Though I don’t have to take any exams or write any 20-page essays, the projects I have to complete are just as time consuming and intellectually taxing. I tried to get a head start on them a while ago, but it’s difficult to balance short-term deadlines with longer-term ones. As soon as I finish my weekly work and am ready to jump on bigger projects, another week comes around and I have new assignments due. It’s probably because I’m taking four classes (which once again, I do not recommend!!), but it’s a great learning experience and I know the future version of me three weeks from now is celebrating with a very long nap.  One project I am about to finish is for LIS 432, Concepts in Culture Heritage Informatics. We were tasked with creating a prototype of a digital exhibition that would go along with a cultural heritage object that we have each been individually studying over the past semester….

  • Overcoming Growing Pains

    I am very surprised to say I am nearing the end of my first semester here at Simmons! It feels like a whirlwind, to be honest – I applied and got accepted in October, moved to Boston in December, and started school in January. I am very grateful for the people who have supported me in this big life transition from my parents to my boyfriend to the friends that I’ve made so far in my classes. I definitely believe I made a smart choice moving to the city a full month before the semester started, but nothing could have prepared me for the transition into grad school life. It might have been because I accidentally signed up for 4 courses instead of the recommended 3 or fewer, so I quickly started to drown in responsibility. About a month into the semester I had one of those existential crises where nothing I was doing made sense — why was I going to grad school anyway? Why don’t I just escape civilization? What am I doing…