What I Did On My Summer Internship

All of the interns at the Mitchell House has been very enthusiastic about learning the ropes of what happens in a historic house museum.  I want them to have the full experience and tell them at the beginning, they do everything I do except clean the bathroom.

From conservation and accessioning of artifacts to research projects in the depths of the archives to teaching children’s history classes.  They give tours to the public, help to host special events for both the Mitchell House and the MMA, develop small exhibits and special tours, work on other initiatives, and they get into some real serious cleaning projects among many other things.

Appropriate museum vacuuming is one such project – they all do it just as I do.  However, I seem to have found a kindred spirit in the vacuuming department this time.  While she has been working on a myriad of projects, including an in-depth research project on Mitchell family  portraits in the Mitchell House, Sabrina was practically grinning from ear-to-ear about vacuuming.  She LOVES it – probably because, in part with our HEPA museum vacuum that you wear on your back, she feels like a “ghostbuster.”  I have never had an intern that was so enthusiastic about this task.  I myself may not be vacuuming the Mitchell House until September – or else we may have to arm wrestle for who gets to vacuum!

Thank you, Sabrina!


A Summer Internship at the Mitchell House

Victoria Schmidt-Scheuber, 2012 Summer Curatorial InternEach summer, one college student joins me at the Mitchell House to learn what it is like to run a historic house museum. We have a large pool of applicants for one position and it is a long and difficult process of reading through the applications, deciding on the top candidates, interviewing those candidates and speaking to their references, and then finally choosing one student.

Once offered the position and she/he has accepted, the new intern receives a large packet of information about the Mitchell House and more about the internship from me before her/his arrival here in late May or early June. The intern needs to be able to hit the ground running so to speak. Once the intern has arrived, had the grand tour, and practiced her/his own tour of the House and is ready, the Mitchell House has opened and we are receiving visitors, running workshops, and working on conservation projects. The intern also teaches the summer Junior Historian classes for children aged 7-11 and assists me in all areas of the House – except for cleaning the toilets and writing the grants I always say!

This year’s Mitchell House intern is Victoria Schmidt-Scheuber, a 2012 graduate of Mount Holyoke College who majored in Art History and minored in Politics. Victoria is from Massachusetts so she did not have to travel far to get to Nantucket. Since she arrived in late May, she has learned the finer points of cleaning a historic house museum, basic conservation of our Special Collection books, given numerous tours already to the public, and begun working on planning the Junior Historian classes she will teach. She has helped weed in the Mitchell House garden, assisted with a stone conservation workshop, and learned more about garden plants than maybe she thought she would. Additionally, she has become involved with the island community as well which allows her to get to know the island and its people better and to learn about the place she will call home for three months. She has hit the ground running and has already been very helpful in achieving our summer goals. Thank you, Victoria, and welcome!