Each summer, the NYG&B welcomes a team of talented interns to perform a variety of essential tasks in multiple areas of its day-to-day operations. The interns are high school, college, and graduate students who have a passion for history, genealogy, or library science; who would like to work with archival and research collections; and who are interested in learning the nuts and bolts of a non-profit organization. They have diverse skills and interests and come from across the country, and every one of them makes an important contribution to the NYG&B’s work.
In addition to their work at the NYG&B office, the interns design and complete their own independent research projects. While the NYG&B offers guidance on how to pursue their research, the interns are free to determine the subject of their projects and the form they will take. Although most interns have researched their own genealogies, one intern this year is researching heraldry, and one intern last year produced a multi-media project documenting her family history through maps. Interns are encouraged to go wherever their passions lead them, and to take advantage of the city’s excellent historical and genealogical resources, such as the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library and the National Archives at New York City.
I am excited to introduce the brilliant young people who are currently taking part in the fourth year of the NYG&B’s internship program. They have tackled their responsibilities as interns with enthusiasm and skill, and the research topics they have chosen promise to take them in fascinating – and hopefully rewarding – directions.
Anna graduated in May from Bryn Mawr College and is planning to pursue a graduate degree in landscape architecture. She is researching her family in Brooklyn, particularly her great-grandmother, a seamstress, who according to family legend created a dress for Eleanor Roosevelt.
Annabel is a student at Williams College who is considering a major in history. She is hoping to fill in the gaps in her family tree by researching her ancestors in Brooklyn.
Ian will enter William Patterson University in the fall and is thinking of studying computer science or biotechnology. He has undertaken a research project on heraldry, the science/art of armorial bearings granted by an officer of arms.
Jaimie graduated in May 2012 from the University of Michigan and spent the past year studying Judaic Studies at Neve Yerushalayim in Israel. She will enter the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in the fall. She is researching her ancestors who came from Russia to New York through Ellis Island and settled in Brooklyn.
Jenna is a student at Spelman College majoring in history. She is hoping to locate the birth certificate of her great-great-grandmother, who was born in a rural part of Brooklyn in the 19th century.
Michael is a student at St. Francis College majoring in history and a Private First Class in the New York Army National Guard. He is researching the life and career of his uncle, who served in the Marine Corps and worked for the New York State Department of Corrections and on early urban renewal projects in Greenwich Village.
I arrived at the NYG&B as an intern in the summer of 2011, after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. My research project, which focused on my ancestors in Dutchess and Columbia Counties, led me from my great-grandmother’s scrapbooks to a unique nineteenth-century manuscript in the Milstein Division to the Quaker records of the Akin Free Library in Pawling, New York. The results of my research were published in the Spring 2012 issue of the New York Researcher.
At the end of the summer, I started working at the NYG&B as a research assistant, and this May I graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in art history and archaeology. I have loved working here and have particularly enjoyed getting to know the interns each summer. They are a really charming and inspiring group!
Over the next few weeks, the interns will be posting updates on their research on this blog. They might wish to share something fascinating they have found in the process of research, or, alternatively, discuss a brick wall that they have encountered. I am excited to see what they find and how their projects develop over the summer, and hope that they will have as great a time working as interns as I had.