Archival Research as an Archives Intern: Cindy Huang's Experience
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
During the summer of 2015, I stayed at Burchfield Penney Art Center as an archive researcher intern. I like the overall working experience at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Ms. Heather Gring, archivist of Burchfield Penney Art Center, is my supervisor. She did not limit me from the research projects. She encouraged me to expand the depth of the project as much as I can. I feel respected while I was doing an internship at Burchfield Penney Art Center.
I did some simple archival processing at the beginning of the summer. I had worked in library for 3 years when I was in high school so I am very familiar with filing the materials; nonetheless, as time goes by, I started have more tasks to do other than simple filing works. There are two main projects I have worked on during my summer internship. The first one is the research on the Art Park participants at Lewiston, NY from 1974-1984. I spend the first half of the internship period at the Burchfield Archive Center and another half was at the Butler Library’s archive room for doing research on Buffalo State Arboretum and founding director of Burchfield Penney Art Center Dr. Edna Lindemann.
There are many things I have learned throughout the archive internship. I learn how to do research from Burchfield Penney Art Center and Buffalo State Archive. The Art Park and Buffalo State Arboretum let me know how to apply the environmental design on making a space for recreation and rest. From Art Park, I learned how artist, planner and architect play an important role at that time. They work together as a team. From Buffalo State Arboretum, I learned how I should consider as an environmental designer when I design a place. I need to design not only a place with aesthetics but also I need to think about a maintainable and sustainable living environment. The environmental designer has to deal with funding because it is realistic issue. Otherwise, it is hard to maintain the place without funding.
I feel glad that my internship applies my major in Environmental Design and minors in both Architecture and Studio Art. The internship is very integral in my academic field and I have benefited a lot from it. The Art Park project is not only related Art but also related to some of the fundamental concepts of Architecture and Environmental design. As a matter of fact, many planners and architects are involved with the event. The Buff State Arboretum project is more related to the core concept of Environmental Design. I have applied what I have learned from my academic backgrounds to these two projects. While working on these projects, I realized that what school teaches me is not enough because we need to transform the academic knowledge to reality.
Then, I discovered my enthusiasm and potential on research during the internship. Research is a long term learning beside school. I think research is particularly interesting when the research topic is related to my academic background. I want to dig out more and go in depth of the research world. I would use the word “enjoyable” to sum up my entire research period at Buffalo State College and Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Also, the most important thing is I would like to thank is the people who helped me before. My supervisor Heather, Archivist of Burchfield Penney Art Center, who is the person give me numerous research opportunities to work on. She is very patient on teaching me whenever I need clarification or encounter any difficulty. Dan, an Archivist of Buffalo State College, who gave me the chance to stay at the university archive room to do research works. He pulled out all the information that I need and lots of old information and files are well preserved. I am very really impressed by his dedication to preservation. The Buffalo State College Facilities Planner Ms. Sarah Reid provide me some precious old campus maps and pictures. These materials helped me to know more about the past and recent campus development. Arborist Mr. Mike Gallo gave me a fantastic tour of Maud Holmes Arboretum and he taught me how to become a good designer and arboretum development. Archival Researcher Sarah gave me lots of ideas of Edna Lindemann and always answer my questions. I would not be able to finish my research works without their dedication to teaching and help.
Although they have their own busy agenda day by day, they are still willing to spend time working with me. I feel warmth for what they have done to me. Everyone in Burchfield Penney Art Center and Buffalo State College is indeed friendly. Although I worked individually most of time, I never felt alone because lots of people are always prepared to come help me during my internship period. From that moment, I realized how everyone works together as team to form a better Buffalo State College and Burchfield Penney Art Center.
All in all, I will always remember the time I was doing internship at Buffalo State. I enjoyed the working atmosphere at Burchfield Penney Art Center and Buffalo State. I have learned a lot and gained a lot of experience from internship. This precious experience could effectively help me become a better researcher through archival intern in the future. I know research is a long way road but I will keep working hard on the research work and never give up. The summer is coming to an end, meaning that my internship journey will end shortly. The internship has successfully turned me into a more responsible, knowledgeable and passionate person in both academic and nonacademic research. This is my first internship ever in my university life and I have no regrets of my determination to commence my internship and research journal at Buffalo State College and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.