My project focuses on images of Valpo’s campus between the years of 1925-1933 printed onto lantern slides, which are light sensitive slides of glass with a photo negative burned onto them. Part of the project includes making sure the slides are housed correctly and logging their condition, i.e. if the emulsion on the glass is faded or if the paper border (“mask”) is decayed. The other part requires me to bring context to the slides using a variety of Valpo publications, which will assist me in answering questions about normative and gender differences of the campus at the time. The photo shows me with a lantern slide and a catalog of bulletins from the University; I had successfully matched the slide image with one from the bulletin and gained information from the caption.
As a historian-in-training, there is this drive to want to contribute to the greater discussion of historical events. The history courses do an excellent job of preparing us to do that, but the internship in the archives is unique because I have a genuine feeling that I am contributing to Valpo’s narrative. With the guidance and support from Rebecca Ostoyich, Archivist, and Judy Miller, Special Collections Librarian, the interns are in some way advancing the understanding of important, albeit localized, topics. Combining that with Professor Kevin Ostoyich’s one-on-one meetings to help hone the necessary skills for historians (e.g. project proposals, interview applications, etc.), HIST-386 is an opportunity I would recommend for not only major and minors, but anyone interested in seeing the firsthand process of writing history.