Two students in the UF Museum Studies Graduate Program, Casey Wooster and Kristin Conwill, are working as collections interns for the Marco Island Historical Society this summer. Wooster and Conwill are working together to regroup boxes of glassware, ceramics and shells into archival, acid-free bags as part of a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“As part of this major project, I am rehousing archaeological material covering over 6,000 years of Florida history from Muspa to today,” Wooster said.
In addition to the rehabilitation of archaeological collections, Wooster and Conwill are restoring a driving tour of historic sites of Marco Island and building a Summer 2018 temporary exhibit based on feedback from audiences.
When asked what the most rewarding experience has been during the internship, Conwill credits the staff.
“Both the curator and collections manager have masters degrees in museum studies so they know exactly what I am looking to get out of this internship and do their best to ensure that I learn and gain ample experience in an array of areas,” said Conwill.
Wooster reflected on her experience surveying the community for the Summer 2018 temporary exhibit as her most rewarding work at Marco Island. Along with an online survey, the interns created a tangible survey as well.
“This part was my favorite,” Wooster said. “We wanted something that was not a paper survey and would pop out to visitors in color and uniqueness, so we used seashells as ballots (naturally since we are on the Gulf Coast).”
When asked if they have advice for future interns, Conwill emphasized asking questions and speaking up if you have interest working on a certain project.
On the other hand, Wooster stressed avoiding saying “no” to a given project because you never know when that experience will benefit you in the future.