Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Intern Spotlight

Introducing our newest intern...

Heather Highfield

Hicksville, New York

Internship Period:
Summer 2010

What am I doing here at the Russell Library?
I wanted some hands-on experience in archives, and I have librarian relatives here in Athens who connected me to the folks at Russell. So far, I’ve been writing finding aids for some of the smaller collections, rehousing original Baldy cartoons, and other interesting and challenging odds and ends.

Education: B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, with a major in English and minor in Japanese. MSLIS expected in 2011 from Syracuse University.

I knew I was a sucker for history when...
I started taking classes like Old English Literature and History of Language in college. I loved learning about the evolution of language and writing. My professor always brought in fascinating old documents like pictures of illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Later, in library school, we got to see real cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls when we learned about the history of information. I was never a history major, but the historical elements of my major were always my favorite parts.

The best part of my internship so far…
I’ve gotten to work with some really great original artwork and photography, which is always a treat for me. The best part so far, though, has been researching all the subjects of my collections to write biographical and historical notes. At the end of a day, not only do I have something real to show for my work, but I’ve learned a handful of things I didn’t know about before.

If I wasn’t spending time in the archives, my alter ego would be pursuing a career in… Illustration. Hopefully when I get out of grad school I’ll be able to blow the dust off all my art supplies and get back into drawing!

On days off, I’ll be… Learning woodcarving in my dad’s workshop, covered in sawdust, or trying to figure out knitting. In any case, you’ll find me indoors – I’m no match for these Georgia summers!

In five years I see myself… Managing the local history department in a public library, ideally. I like the smaller scale of special collections, but at the same time I like being able to talk to lots of people in a day. There’s no telling where I’ll settle, though – I move around a lot!

*Special Note: Heather's cool yet casual pose in the photo above was aided by a cigar from the Herman Talmadge Collection and the gentle prodding of members of the Russell Staff.*

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