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Elizabeth Williamson starts her internship at the Holocaust Memorial Museum Library.

The First Week of my Holocaust Memorial Museum Library and Archives Internship

It takes about six hours to drive from Syracuse to Washington DC, depending on the traffic. I took I-81 most of the way, and I relied on Google Maps to get me through it. It let me know when I crossed state lines with chirpy, welcome messages – Welcome to Pennsylvania! Welcome to Maryland! It’s a cute feat of technological advancements.

I spent the weekend getting accustomed to my new place and finding the closest Target. My new place is amazing – it has air conditioning! – and the closest Target is about 5 miles away.

The First Days at the Holocaust Memorial Museum Library

At the time of writing this, I’m only a few days into my internship at the Holocaust Memorial Museum Library. I started on Monday, June 10, and I’ve already learned so much.

I started my internship by processing books and creating records. Most of the books are in Polish, German, and Hebrew. I’ve seen a few English titles, but they’re rare – at least for the books that I’m handling.

It’s an interesting experience, working with books whose contents I can’t understand. In some ways, it’s helpful in that I can avoid the distraction of wanting to read every single book that comes across my desk.

Managing the Collection

The Museum Library uses Voyager to manage its collection – a program I was previously unfamiliar with. I’m getting used to searching and creating records, but it’s only been a few days, so I’m sure there is a lot more for me to learn. I’m also very grateful for the exercises that Brian Dobreski had us doing with MARC and RDA in IST 616 – Information Resources: Organization and Access. It gave me the foundations to understand the records I’m working on. It has been an asset to my work here in the library.

Educational Events

I will also have the opportunity to attend lectures and other events hosted by the Museum. There are film screenings, discussion sessions, and tons of other things happening this summer that I can’t wait to see. I am beyond excited to have these opportunities to enrich my internship experience and expand my understanding of the Holocaust.

Living in DC for the Summer

Working in and living near DC is really exciting; I can’t wait to explore the area and find new things to do. I want to visit as many bookstores and check out as many restaurants as I possibly can. Getting the hang of the Metro only took a moment, and I intend to use it to the fullest.

I want to visit all the museums. I came to DC on a school trip back in the eighth grade, and I don’t fully remember everything. What I do remember is mostly goofing around with my friends and stressing out our chaperones. I’m so grateful to have the chance to experience the city as an adult.

Ruby Williamson

Ruby Williamson

My name is Elizabeth ‘Ruby’ Williamson. I am starting my second year in the Library and Information Science graduate program at Syracuse University. I grew up just north of Austin, Texas, which explains my passion for queso and breakfast tacos.

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