Taylor Lawson, 21, of Rison, is a senior history major with a minor in psychology and sociology at Henderson State University. She heard about the internship opportunity through her public history class instructor, David Sesser.
“Taylor started in May but has already shown an aptitude for researching, handling and preserving archival documents,” says Melissa Nesbitt, archival manager. “She is smart, passionate and a quick-learner. We are so excited to have her at the Archives.”
Taylor wants to learn about the archival field because she hopes to have a career in it one day. She took an American history class in high school that piqued her interest and put her on the path to working in the archival field.
As an intern, Taylor is gaining experience in processing archival collections. Among the projects she has worked on so far is the Earl Wagner collection of photographs, which consists of scenes from Hope, Texarkana and Washington, Arkansas, in the 1980s through the 2000s. The photos include community and political events.
Of her work at SARA, Taylor says what she enjoys most is “being able to be so close to history in a hands-on way.”
“When studying history, you often don’t get immersed just by reading from a textbook, so working with historical collections at SARA gives you better insight into the past and the people involved in historical events,” Taylor says.
When she is not studying history, Taylor loves to read mystery and true crime stories. She enjoys listening to a wide variety of music.
Taylor will work at SARA until Aug. 3. Until then, she has the opportunity to immerse herself in the rich history of early Arkansas and gain experience that could pave the way for a career in State Archives.
The SARA Foundation, Inc., which is the friends group for SARA, sponsors the internship each year, and the Historic Washington State Park provides support for the internship by providing housing. Applications are available each spring.
SARA Foundation’s mission includes providing volunteer support, promoting the acquisition of archival materials, conducting special projects and raising funds that benefit SARA. The SARA Foundation depends on membership dues and other contributions to fulfill its mission. For more information on the Foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 870-983-2633 or write to SARA Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 133, Washington, AR 71862.
For more information on SARA or to find out more about the internship position, contact Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt at email@example.com or call 870-983-2633.