AAHC Forum: Discovering History: Lessons to Treasure

This post is a part of the AAHC Forum. In the coming months we will invite current and past grantees to contribute their project experiences via blog posts on our UpNext Blog and then ask you to respond through the AAHC Virtual Forum. We hope you will add your voice and share your needs and opinions so that AAHC can continue to help African American museums thrive. Please visit the AAHC forum to continue the conversation.

By Lorraine Rossi
I AAM Fellow, Carrie Meek-James Eaton Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum

Working at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives during the fall 2012 semester as an I AMM fellow, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. As a museum fellow, I have learned valuable skills that have equipped me to tackle any job in a museum setting. For example, I have learned basic archival skills such as the inventorying of materials and the updating of finding aids, to the more complex art of designing and fabricating exhibits.

I AMM Fellow Lorraine Rossi unpacks a leather jacket that will be used for a Black Panther display.

I AMM Fellow Lorraine Rossi unpacks a leather jacket that will be used for a Black Panther display. Photo courtesy of the Meek-Eaton Black Archives.

These newly acquired skills have also had a profound impact on my academic career as a graduate student in the Master of Applied Social Science (MASS) program at Florida A&M University. As an archival assistant, I have been exposed to a wealth of primary source archival materials that are maintained by the Black Archives. For example, the John Frederick Matheus collection has facilitated the construction of a graduate-level paper for my “Research Methods” class. Additionally I have been given the opportunity to present my paper during the spring 2013 semester, at SCAASI and NAAAS, two nationally recognized professional conferences.

Lastly, my experiences as an I AMM fellow have prepared and enabled me to secure a summer 2013 internship at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, where I will be working with the American Missionary Association Collection in order to identify and inventory photographs taken by Marion Palfi in the hopes of digitizing them.

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