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The Blog of the Indiana State Archives

  IARA Divisions State Archives Collections From the Vault Blog

Tales from the Interns | Ben

BenHi, my name is Ben and I've been the Governor’s Summer Intern for 2023 assigned to the Indiana State Archives! I am an incoming junior at Purdue University studying history and art history. This is my first internship, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience! This is my first venture into archival work, and public history as a whole, and I'm very excited to see where this experience takes me.

I’ve learned many valuable skills during the course of my internship, chief among them being how to remove staples. I did learn other valuable skills such as how to identify non-archival material and how to recognize acidic paper. I also learned how to properly arrange and store papers and photographs.

I have worked on a few different projects during my internship. My first project was a small collection of Marion County Sheriff’s records from the late 1950s and early 1960s. This project taught me most of the basics I would continue to use through the rest of the summer. My next project was a small collection of veterans correspondence from the Vietnam War era. After these two projects I began my largest project of the summer: a collection of Office of Civil Defense records and correspondence from the 1960s. This project was particularly fun to process even though it contained a very large number of photographs and staples.  The most fun part of this project was seeing locations and towns that I recognized. I also particularly enjoyed identifying old cars in the photographs. My favorite car I saw in the photographs was an old Ford Galaxie!

I was also given the opportunity to explore some of the things we have in the Archives. I really loved seeing old Civil War correspondence as well as Abraham Lincoln’s ACTUAL signature!