The University Library’s Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) apprenticeship program was launched in the fall of 2015. The aim of the program is to train selected students in the basics of working in an archives and special collections department. Interns first work on processing collections with the University Archivist. Following that, there is a rotation component in which the intern works on different projects with various staff members in the A&SC department. Finally, the interns complete a final project that incorporates materials from A&SC.
As an intern in the A&SC apprenticeship program, I chose to focus on personal papers collections related to early California. The Gold Rush of 1849 brought many settlers to California, particularly to the Bay Area. The children of Catholic settlers and immigrants became the first students of Santa Clara College, which was founded in 1851 and would eventually become Santa Clara University-- the first institution of higher learning in California. As a double-major in Spanish and History, I have found my work with the papers of these early settlers and pioneers to be very gratifying.
Being an intern in Archives & Special Collections has allowed me to explore my interests in archives as well as in history. I hope to incorporate both interests in my future career and become a scholar-archivist. I enjoyed my work as an A&SC apprentice, and hope I have helped others engage with material that was so crucial to the founding of California and our wonderful university.
Michelle Runyon was the first intern placed into the A&SC apprenticeship program. She graduates from Santa Clara this spring.
Watch Michelle share artifacts from her collection, titled Early California Ephemera. You may view her collection online or by making an appointment to visit the A&SC Reading Room.