"I was fortunate to intern at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, this summer. I worked in the Anthropology Collections Department under, the collections manager who primarily oversees the European and Asian collections....The museum draws local, national, and international tourists interested in natural history. From my vantage point in collections, though, the public I interacted with most often were researchers."
Second year Museology student, Nadia Arambula, completed an Internship with the Anthropology Collection at the Field Museum in Chicago Illinois during the summer of 2010.
The main task of my internship was to assist with inventorying and rehousing the Western European archaeological collections, as objects were moved to a new storage location. This year one of the major collections to be moved was the Western European collection. Between interns and volunteers, approximately twenty to thirty shelves in the collection were inventoried during the time I was there. Hundreds more needed to be done before the December deadline. The presence, count, condition, and description of objects were verified. Any fragile looking items were rehoused. I also assisted with rehousing and organizing archaeological material that was brought to the museum as a result of its Kish Expedition in Iraq during the 1920s and 30s. Early on in my internship, I organized the Kish pieces in the new storage area by permanent and temporary ID #. Later, I rehoused fragile metal and glass pieces from this site. The final alternating task I had this summer was cataloging and photographing 13th century Chinese and other Southeastern Asian ceramics recovered from a Java Sea shipwreck. One week, I was also able to help the “move team” (a group of collection assistants) with inventorying bags of pottery sherds from the Southwest as they were moved to the new storage area and in creating small “exhibit” spaces.
This internship has contributed to my over-all career and academic goals by exposing me to the collections management of a large museum, gaining practical skills in rehousing and inventorying, and establishing at least one contact in a museum I would love to work for in the future. I would recommend interning at the Field. I enjoyed working in my department. My supervisor was a good teacher. I also recommend interning at the Field because there are many perks. The access to the collections, its curators and other staff, and its library is an amazing opportunity. The museum is huge and staff numbers in the hundreds so HR set up field trips for the interns to see other departments’ collections (saw Martian asteroids in Geology!). Field trips were also set up to visit other museums on the Museum Campus. It was a great opportunity to see other areas and to meet interns in other departments. and I hope that in the future I will have an opportunity to return to the museum as an employee.