In February, we welcomed two new students to the internship program. Stephen "Kyle" Staubs and Zachary Garver are both students in Shepherd University's History Program. Both Kyle and Zach began their internships by working on our digitization project with Senator Robert C. Byrd's extensive clipping scrapbooks collection. There are over 150 large scrapbooks containing press clippings, magazine articles, and other ephemera which provide a timeline view of Senator Byrd's life and career from his earliest days in the West Virginia State Legislature in the 1940s until his final years in the U.S. Senate. Zach and Kyle both worked on digitizing the physical scrapbooks, which can be a delicate process due to the age of the books and the rapid deterioration of newsprint. Using the center's flatbed scanner, Zach and Kyle scanned each page, sometimes multiple times to capture all of the articles affixed to them.
Once each book has been digitized, the next step for preparing them for public access is to combine the scanned images into PDF portfolio files which allow users to view the pages in the order they exist in the physical scrapbooks. This process can include additional cropping or straightening of scanned images and checking to make sure all content of the page has been adequately captured by the scanner. With the pages prepared and combined into the PDF, the interns record keywords reflecting major themes in the content of each book's articles and clippings. These keywords will be used to tag the files once they are uploaded to the web and will facilitate one way for researchers to find specific information among the tens of thousands of pages of articles.
Following her work on the Press Series of the Robert C. Byrd and Harley O. Staggers, Sr. Congressional Papers Collections, Byrd Center Intern Malorie Matos has been working for the past few months on arranging the extensive photograph collection from Senator Byrd's papers. This process has involved researching our press collection and other sources to find dates and descriptions for hundreds of unlabeled photographs. You can read more about this project in one of our past Byrd Blog posts.
We are also excited to congratulate Malorie on her new position with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Malorie will begin her new job in the coming weeks and will be joining the park's education program team. While we will certainly miss Malorie around the archives, we are happy for her as she embarks on the next stage in her career. The Byrd Center also congratulates our former intern, Sarah Brennan, on her new position as Guest Services Assistant at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. Malorie and Sarah are joining the growing list of Byrd Center interns who are making their mark on the public history profession!