Courtlyn McCarthy is a junior at Salem College, majoring in History and Religion and partaking in an internship with the Moravian Archives with archivist Nicole Crabbe for Jan Term.
When asked about how she got this internship, McCarthy described going to the archives information about a family grave in the Old God’s Acre, where she asked if Crabbe took Jan Term interns. When they said yes, she received more information about it.
McCarthy described her daily tasks at the archives as sorting through the information stored in the vault at the base of the archives. She enthusiastically described, “There are books and texts down there dating back to the 18th century, some entirely German!” During the interview, she was cataloguing newsletters from churches from the area since the Moravian church is still very active.
McCarthy explained that, as a History and Religion double major, she would love to pursue archival work after she graduates next year. She described the internship as a “great hands on experience.”
The most enjoyable part of her internship so far has been the opportunity to work with professionals in the archivist field that are, “welcoming, kind, and helpful.”
Archival work takes technical skills that can be learned through hands on experience. Some skills McCarthy has acquired during this internship include developing efficient ways to organize and catalog information both manually and digitally. She stated that the archives is currently starting to store and backup more of their data in digital databases. Still, original documents must be preserved and stored, allowing her the opportunity to learn both physical and digital processes, which has been extremely important for growing her experience as a future archivist.
McCarthy passionately recommends the archives to anyone who is possibly intrigued by history or religious studies, especially if one wants to learn more about the history of the Winston-Salem area. She describes the archives as a warm and welcoming atmosphere for interns, her experience has been wonderful, and she truly hopes more people will consider the internship in the future.