Wes Oliver, a rising senior at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU), has joined the team at Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) as its summer intern. Oliver, who is double majoring in history and public history, and minoring in psychology, became familiar with SARA while touring with Dr. Wendy Richter’s Archival Studies course in December of 2017. Oliver became interested in the internship at SARA because he wanted to learn more about the work, but also to see if archiving is something that he would like to pursue as a career.
Oliver has kept busy with a variety of projects, which has given him an understanding of the work archivists do. A project that he has worked on is helping to organize over 400 courthouse ledgers on the custom ledger shelving that was installed at SARA earlier this year. He is also helping with processing a collection of historical information on schools in southwest Arkansas which was compiled by former SARA Director Faith Riley.
One project in particular that Oliver has enjoyed is working on processing the unclaimed Hempstead County marriage licenses that were donated to SARA by former Archival Manager Peggy Lloyd. “Every preacher or justice of the peace had his own style of writing the records so that you could get a sense of the individuality of the people involved and some of the characteristics of the church denominations and local government institutions they represented,” said Oliver.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading (especially about history), walking his dog and exploring the outdoors.
The SARA Foundation sponsors the internship each year, and is the friends group for SARA.
SARA Foundation’s mission includes providing volunteer support, promoting the acquisition of archival materials for SARA, and conducting special projects and fundraisers benefitting SARA. The SARA Foundation depends on membership dues and other contributions to fulfill its mission. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 870-983-2633, or write to SARA Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 133, Washington, AR 71862.