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Sarah Rung: Bridging Disciplines at American History Archives

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 by in The OFI Blog |

Rung, researching some papers in NMAH’s collection by Thomas Edison.

This blog post was written by Sarah Rung

My name is Sarah Rung and I am from Austin, Texas. I currently attend the University of Texas at Austin and I will be starting my junior year in the fall. I am majoring in History and working towards a certificate in Museum Studies. I fell in love with history and museums when I visited some of the Smithsonian museums in 2007 at age 10. I discovered that I wanted to do something to allow me to preserve the past for future generations.

This summer 2018, I am an  intern for the National Museum of American History (NMAH) in the Archives Center with Alison Oswald and Joe Hursey as my intern mentors. Currently, I have undertaken a project to help me better understand the interdisciplinary aspect of museum work. I became interested in this assignment due to the fact that I am in the Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP) at my university. Through BDP I am gaining a better understanding of how it takes multiple specialties to make a museum function at optimum capacity. To pursue this project I am conducting interviews with a wide variety of museum staff and discussing how all the divisions work together to best serve the history we are preserving.  I have met some of the nicest people who have been so generous in spending their time with me. I have even had the opportunity to shadow some of the people I have interviewed. From this observational role I am able to understand firsthand the incredibly intricate and wide variety of tasks they accomplish in a day.

At the Archives Center I am learning many of the different roles one can have in a repository. I have gotten to experience acquisition, processing, and reference thus far. I particularly have enjoyed the opportunity to experience what it is like to follow a collection from a giant jumbled box to being research ready. The Archives Center is such a welcoming environment and fosters great learning opportunities. I feel so lucky to be here and I am having a fantastic summer!