I officially started my internship, and jumped right into it!
I'm learning the steps to processing a collection and started by creating a list of the items I found in each of the 10 boxes. The boxes range in size, and contain a wide range of materials. My favorite part of this collection are the correspondences. There are numerous letters that were written during World War II, and it's just amazing to read and hold these letters. Most of them were written in 1942-1945 and are in pretty good condition. Some of the letters are caked in dirt, and knowing that they were a part of the war is amazing to me. I haven't tried reading those yet, since they are dirty. I have to figure out how to salvage them from the dried mud. The oldest item I found was an accounting book from 1783. It was crumbling and falling apart, but I managed to get through some of the book and read its contents. There were also a series of diaries written by Thomas Riggs ranging from 1903-1913. He wrote normal every day facts like, I have the chicken pox and mom has quarantined me to my room. Read such and such book today. Saw these people, and went to town, etc. It's fascinating how something as simple as a diary can be so valuable and interesting.
The next steps involve creating a processing plan, and then figuring out how to store and preserve all these items. Wish me luck! I'm having a blast :)
The neat thing about being an unpaid intern, is that I can read anything and take my time. I can lose myself in the letters and photos and enjoy every moment processing the Riggs Family papers.