Hometown History

I have been quiet since the end of my internship at Preservation Chapel Hill and graduation from UNC; however, my adventures in public history are far from over. As I have posted elsewhere, I will be attending UNC Wilmington in the fall for my Master’s in History with a concentration in public history. But this summer I have returned to the very first museum I ever interned at, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly, NC, to volunteer and keep my toes in the history water. So far, I’ve had several valuable experiences that supplement my previous experience. I’ve worked on reorganizing and relocating the photographic collection so that the photos are stored in a better place in terms of conservation and ease of access. I also helped conserve the textile collection by cleaning (my first time using a fancy museum-quality vacuum!), and rotating the quilts on display in the homestead structure on site. Added to this has been daily operations work, helping at the front desk and in the gift shop, including assisting with putting the gift shop online. My current project has involved picking out, scanning, printing, and cutting pictures for an exhibit for the 30th anniversary of the museum. It has been interesting looking back on how the museum has grown and expanded or changed its educational programming over the years. The next step in this project is to actually arrange and put up the exhibit! I’ve really enjoyed returning to the museum and have learned a lot from the curator Melody Worthington who oversees my work but also allows me to have a lot of autonomy. I will be continuing to volunteer there for about another month. More updates to come!

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