PRINT Internship Week 9

This week was basically a lot of meetings.

At the beginning of the week, I worked on some research for the biographies that I am writing about the Pembertons and those associated with them in colonial Pennsylvania.  Really, the bread and butter of the PRINT project.  I was able to do Abigail’s biography and subsequently upload the information in to the linked open data that I am working with because much of that information actually overlaps.  After Abigail, I moved on to Phineas, the patriarch and ran in to one of the biggest issues facing historians: finding real primary sources to back up your statements and information.  For example, I spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday pouring through the primary sources that can be found on some genealogy sites looking for a birth record for him.  To say the least, it has been difficult.  Depending on where you look and how the person viewed the dates, it can range anywhere from 1649 to 1651. As a quick background for anyone reading who may not know, Quakers didn’t follow the Gregorian calendar like much of the western world and, depending on the time of the year, they can be off considering that their calendar year didn’t start until the end of March.  I am trying to do my best to make these biographies as accurate as possible but paywalls and sources in other states that are not yet digitized, definitely make the task difficult.

On Tuesday, I met with the PRINT team as we do every week.  We gave each other our usual updates but we also brainstormed about topics and titles for the presentation we will be doing during the UCF Art week at the beginning of April.

On Wednesday, I met with Dr. Beiler to go over my midterm evaluation.  When we started the semester, we met and discussed my two main roles of the internship: assisting the class with their transcription process and working on the biographies and linked open data.  Thus far, I’ve mostly been assisting the class.  This is something that we discussed in the meeting, that I was slightly disappointed that I was unable to work more with the Linked Open Data, which is not at all failing to meet expectations, but it is the exciting research I am looking forward to working with. Although, the transcriptions are completely finished for this class now and I will be able to move forward with the Linked Open Data work only.

On Thursday, I assisted Dr. Beiler and the other assistants with a transcription workshop for the class that I am not assigned to.  It was definitely fun to get back into transcribing a new letter that I haven’t looked at before.  These student picked letters to help with their assignments and many of them only have one transcription done by the PRINT team so it is still fresh and new.  I worked one on one with a student and helped them with any questions that they may have had.  I definitely have to say, working with these 300+ year old letters is definitely way easier than it was when I started working with PRINT.

Next week I will continue working on the biographies and linked open data.  Dr. Beiler and I decided that my goal for this semester is the immediate Pemberton family and to move beyond as I find information about other people, but to make them my priority since they are the main figures in our letters and the project as a whole.

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