As summer comes to an end and the start of
the fall semester draws near, it is time for the two of us to say our goodbyes
to the Chemung County Historical Society. We have spent the last few months
interning here and as our last days approach we wanted to share with everyone
what our experiences were like. Before we get into that, let us both introduce
Hello! I am Phoenix Andrews. I am 21 years
old and a senior history major at Alfred University. I transferred to Alfred
University in the fall of 2021 after getting my Associates degree at Corning
Community College. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2023 and am hoping to
start Grad School the following semester.
Hi there! My name is Kevin Earley. I am 23,
almost 24 years old, and going into my senior year as a history major at Alfred
University! I transferred over from Alfred State last semester, after
transferring from Corning Community College in the fall of 2020. I will
graduate in the spring of 2023, and I hope to attend Grad School at some point.
I am still working out my next steps, but I have all the faith in the world
that the next chapter is going to be amazing!
The two of us grew up and live in Chemung
County so having the opportunity to intern at our local historical society was
something neither of us could pass by. During our time here, we got to work on
many different projects with the amazing staff at the Chemung County Historical
Society. Ahead we will be describing some of those projects, what our goals
were, and anything we may have learned from that experience.
Updating Education Cases
Separately we worked on updating two of the
cases available for schools to borrow.
worked on the Westward Expansion case. Some material was outdated or contained
things not as helpful in modern classrooms, like CDs. I proposed some changes
that could be made to current activities and created a lesson plan for a new
interactive activity. It was a nice experience creating something that I know
might be used in classrooms at some point.
looked through our case on Pop Culture. I ensured that everything was accounted
for and looked over the potential that the case had. The case has a lot of
potential for lessons; however, nothing new has been set in stone.
Representing the Museum
We both had opportunities to get out into the
One of the first things I did as an intern was represent the museum at the
Early-Childhood Education Fair held at the Arnot Mall. I, along with a museum
volunteer, got to meet many local families. In addition, Kevin and I attended
the Brand Park Tuesday market together to help get the word out
about new exhibits and the museum’s summer walking tours. Being able to work
with the community and show children that museums can be interesting to them is
one of my favorite parts of going to events.
had the opportunity to represent the museum at the Juneteenth Event. I heard
many wonderful stories and appreciated being out in the community. Starting in
June, I had the opportunity to be at Wisner Market weekly. Along with another
volunteer, Bob, we represented the museum to the community.
You may have noticed that this is not a first
blog for either of us!
wrote a blog titled “Helen Booth Sprecher,” which covered Booth’s time in the
WAAC/WAC during WWII. It also accompanied a panel we created for The Moving
Wall’s visit to Eldridge Park. This experience gave me the opportunity to use
our archives to read documents related to her.
|Phoenix researching in the archives|
wrote a blog on the history of hockey in the City of Elmira called “Our Town,
Our Teams: Hockey in Elmira.” I wrote it based on statistics and newspaper
articles from The Star Gazette. It ranges from the Elmira
College teams to the professional teams that used to call our area home. I also
wrote an article on the history of football at Notre Dame High School which is
being considered for the Chemung Historical Journal.
We’ve gone out into the community and
documented local history.
When The Moving Wall was at Eldridge Park, I took our camera to take photos and
document this event for our records. It was interesting doing something like
this because in the future people can look back and see what took place.
As the result of a research request that we had received, I visited the War
Town Monument (Sullivan Expedition) to record and confirm that the information
gathered was accurate.
Together, we worked with Monica, the Curator,
to assist her with the installation of the new exhibit “Receding Waters: 50 Years
After the Flood.” We de-installed the previous exhibit, returning objects to
storage. We retrieved and helped prepare artifacts for the new exhibit. We
worked in collections and became familiar with the software that organizes
everything. We printed and assembled panels for the exhibit, and learned how to
navigate various technical issues. It became an opportunity to improve our
troubleshooting and creative problem-solving skills.
We had the chance to work on smaller projects
too, things that are often overlooked or not thought about as much but showed
us just how much goes into being a Curator or Archivist.
The two of us worked with Rachel to
pre-catalog new and previously donated books for the collection.
Some of the other smaller projects I worked on included verifying dates for
recently donated technology and artifacts to be included in the new exhibit. I
also created a 1972 Flood Photo Album on Chemung County Historical Society’s
Facebook page using photos from the archives.
Kevin- I assisted our archivist, Rachel, in
clipping and filing newspapers. It has prompted me to start my own collection
of magazines and articles that I receive to save for my own use.
As a collective with the Museum staff, we
hosted visitors from local elementary schools and summer cohesion groups. We
gained a lot of experience working with children and confidence in how to
improvise solutions; learning when it is okay to move on and scrap an idea that
is not quite working out the way we previously planned.
|Kevin guiding 2nd graders|
The museum’s Director, Bruce Whitmarsh, took
time to share how grant funding works. He walked us through the process of
applying for grants and talked about the importance of grants in operations at
a small institution.
Overall, as our time here comes to a close,
we both want to express our gratitude for the opportunities we were given. We
both were able to experience and learn so much in the few months we were here
and none of that would have been possible if it were for the amazing people who
work and volunteer here. Everyone accepted us with open arms, and we can both
agree that we already miss interning at the Chemung County Historical
Phoenix Andrews and Kevin