Because of my internship, I am more confident in my abilities working within a federal museum and using previously obtained skills in digital public humanities to accomplish daily objectives. My Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery internship has consisted of analyzing archival derivative photographs, cropping internal and external derivatives, and performing large digitization projects. As of this blogpost on April 27, 2022, I have cropped 166 photographs from my collection folder as well as the 92 full-page spreads of the Ledger book of William Bache that consisted of silhouettes of George Washington’s enslaved population. I have subsequently cropped 75 external photographs from black and white photographs taken by Photographer Brian Lanker. I am in the process of analyzing photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Out Of Many Exhibit where I am cropping new derivatives according to Smithsonian guidelines to promote the exhibit to the public. As of this post, I have cropped 188 photographs with more to do before the project is finished.
I have 70 additional photographs to crop from my collection folder with additional work to be completed. This internship has built upon previously obtained skills with digitization and metadata and applied those skills to large digitization projects.
Because of my internship, I have learned more about applying digital public humanities toward public history work within a museum such as the collaborative nature of real-world applications from collaborating with colleagues to finish projects. I have learned more about the Smithsonian NPG Open Access Initiative to promote art and history to the public online. I look forward to continued work on my Omeka site to be finished in May. The Omeka site will consist of photographs within the Public Domain to promote the initiative and showcase what I have learned.
When I began this internship I had the objectives of learning how Smithsonian NPG digitizes and catalogs photographs, having career conversations with NPG employees to learn more about working within the federal government, and creating a project to showcase my work. I believe that I have completed what I set out to do and obtained more information about working within the federal government in the future. I joined the SHFG, Society for History in the Federal Government in January 2022. I continued to learn more about working with different departments such as the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, Department of The Interior, and other organizations that utilize skills I have obtained such as analytical skills, metadata, digitization, writing, and editing, and decision making among others. I have learned what it takes to secure a government contract to conduct remote digitization work for mass digitization projects similar to what I have worked on since my internship began last fall.
I will update this blog post after my internship officially concludes in May and I continue learning more about government work and brainstorming how to translate everything I have learned as I continue applying on USAJOBS. I plan to create additional Digital Public Humanities Omeka websites on additional topics of interest in the future and will keep updating this blog as I use DPH skills on new projects to promote historical scholarship.
I have cropped and ingested a grand total of 923 high-resolution TIFF files to represent all of the work I have done over the course of this semester from August 23, 2021, to May 20, 2022.