The Shaker Museum at South Union, 2010
During the summer of 2009, I had the privilege of working at the Shaker Museum of South Union in Auburn, Kentucky. The museum itself is a short drive from Bowling Green, and I consider it to be an experience that has extended my knowledge base tremendously within the field of folklore. For me, this internship was a verification that I am doing what I love, and simultaneously it was a discovery that this is the career that I ultimately want to have. I worked closely with the Executive Director of the museum, Mr. Tommy Hines who provided me with the opportunity to learn many new and exciting things. I began the summer by digitizing an exhibit created by Beth King for the 1875 grain barn that has been recently resorted. I visited the Shaker Museum in Pleasant Hill to document their outdoor exhibit in order to more adequately create our own. I conducted research into exhibit materials and mounting techniques that would be used to create the exhibit at South Union, and I began research to help create and assemble a new exhibit focusing on the great South Union auction of 1922. To complete this research, I used oral history interviews that were conducted with individuals that lived around or were familiar with the Shaker community in Auburn. My methods of research also involved the collection of artifacts at South Union where I found items that were purchased at the auction and eventually returned to the museum and placed on display.
The Shaker Museum at South Union is growing, and I was very excited to be a part of its expansion. Tommy provided me with the skills to design, construct and interpret an exhibit as well as the research tools to find the necessary information to complete such a task. I was also able to get to work closely with the staff at South Union. I thoroughly enjoyed working in such a friendly environment and in such a beautiful place. The moment you visit this property you know you are setting foot a unique and remarkable site in the history of the South Central Kentucky. I was lucky enough to spend my entire summer there. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in the preservation of artifacts or in the general area of museum studies. It was a great way to have hands-on experience in the museum field and to build upon the classes that I am taking in the Historical Preservation tract.
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