My favorite aspect of my internship is that I get to learn the details of the Voter Education Project through the eyes of key figures in the cause. Learning history from the viewpoint of those who enacted such a major change in the United States is truly a privilege. Working to make these documents more accessible to the public will allow others to have this same experience I’ve had will give them a stronger connection to the past. As I have read more of the VEP primary sources I have been able to follow conversations between historic civil rights figures. It was really interesting to start to see connections between the documents and be able to link certain events to the letters I was reading. I was also able to understand how events were planned and what was needed for the Voter Education Process to become successful.
As I previously stated, many of the documents were letters that were in response another document. At the beginning of the internship it was difficult to understand what was being discussed in the letters when I had not yet read what the letter was in response to. The first time I read a document and knew exactly who they were talking to and what the conversation was about was a really exciting time. It meant that I was successfully analyzing and understanding the primary sources. Another struggle I faced was that, while I did have some background knowledge on the VEP it was difficult at first to fully comprehend everything I was reading and be able to sum it up in a brief summary. Now that I have nearly completed all of my document summarization I am confident in my understanding of the VEP and am able to fully understand each document.
Now that I have completed my portion of the document analysis it is time to move on to uploading the documents to the internet. This will be my first time using the software Omeka. Since this a new experience for me it will take some time to learn and become familiar with the program. I am excited to gain some experience with developing a website. We are entering a more technological era, the future of spreading history is through the internet. Learning how to develop a website and share history this way will be a valuable tool that I can use in my future career.
By: Lauren Patterson, spring 2019