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By Jennifer Bowman, volunteer services coordinator, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce its participation and partnership with the University of Delaware in hosting three E. Lyman Stewart interns who are working at division sites during the summer of 2021. Stewart internships are an initiative of the university’s History Department — Museum Studies Program. Stewart internships provide undergraduate sophomore, junior or senior history majors, or graduate students pursuing either a master’s or doctorate in history, an opportunity to gain field experience with a Delaware cultural institution. The program involves competitively awarded internships with stipends, for which students apply and interview.
The 2021 Stewart interns have been working with division staff on unique projects focused on research, collections and outreach engagement on important historical and cultural topics.
Pamela Ahern is a doctoral student in the university’s European History and Museum Studies Certificate Program. She has been working on two projects, one of which involves improving the New Castle Court House Museum’s webpages by adding alt text and image descriptions to all images, and updating the layout and structure of the webpages to make information as accessible to the public as possible. Her second project includes research on inequitable laws that were passed during Delaware’s early formation and sharing that research with the public via social media and other digital platforms. Commenting on her internship, Ahern noted, “Knowing that my contribution might create more equitable accessibility for diverse types of visitors makes this work meaningful and fulfilling.”
Kelli Racine Barnes is a doctoral candidate studying late-18th and early-19th-century African American history and is an African American Public Humanities Fellow at the university. She is working with the Zwaanendael Museum to research and create a virtual exhibit that will highlight the impacts of Jim Crow laws in Delaware in connection with historically segregated beaches and the people who remember them. Barnes acknowledges the work of previous researchers noting that her research “builds on the work of Tamara Burks, Carlton Hall and countless others, including those who participated in an oral history project with Nancy Alexander and the Rehoboth Beach Museum.”
Matt Miklochik is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in history, ancient Greek and Roman studies. He is working with the Johnson Victrola Museum to research recording artists’ lives; recording conditions with Victor Records; payment for musicians’ creations in jazz, blues, country and popular music; and the perceptions of what was trending at the time. His work will provide the museum with important information for outreach, education and future research. Commenting on his work, Miklochik noted, “I hope that this information will allow the museum to provide a more in-depth view of the role Victor Records played in 20th century music history.”