Molly Hollcraft is a senior from Indianapolis and a member of the Ball State Honors College. She is majoring in Public History with a minor in Historic Preservation, and from January to May 2021, she is an intern at the Johnson County Museum of History in Franklin, Indiana. Working alongside director David Pfeiffer, she helps to catalogue and store family letters, store artifacts, and install the exhibit on Kuji, Japan.
Below is an interview that the College of Science and Humanities blog conducted with Molly.
How did you decide you wanted to pursue a degree in Public History?
I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in Public History because I did not want to teach. I wanted to do research and use that research. Public History really stood out to me because there were so many options, and I did not have to follow a single path.
Why were you interested in this specific internship?
I was really interested in this internship because I wanted to have some experience in a museum. I wanted to try different public history jobs before I started to apply to grad schools and try to find a job. This internship, and many others, are important in gaining experience and knowledge about the types of jobs that I might want to pursue.
What does a typical day at your internship look like?
A typical day can vary at the museum. On any given day, however, I am doing collections work. Many days I am working on getting a very large collection of letters (about 6 boxes) cataloged and accessioned.
I also work on filing away artifacts and paperwork. I get to sit in on staff meetings and learn about the programs that they put on and the behind the scenes aspects. In a few weeks, I will get to help with deinstallation of the most recent exhibit, pulling artifacts, creating text panels, and installing the next exhibit.
What are the most valuable skills you have gained from your internship?
I think that one of the most valuable skills that I have learned is how to be brief and succinct, yet still have the important information included. I also have grown in my patience and organization which comes with working on a very large and tedious collection.
What is the most fulfilling part of your internship?
The most fulfilling part of my internship is knowing that I am helping not only the museum, but also researchers who want to use the letters that I am accessioning for information about Johnson County from the 1910s to about the 1960s.
Should you wish to contact Molly, you can do so via her email (firstname.lastname@example.org).