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John Bruke Letters

Union Navy soldier | Civil War

My Fieldwork Deliverable
Alicia Herrera
Department of Libray and information science, University of South Florida 
LIS6946 Supervised Field Work Assignment
Dr. Vanessa Reyes
November 14, 2022 

My fieldwork site is at FAU’s Boca campus library (S. E. Wimberly Library). I worked at the S. E. Wimberly Library for 8 hours a week to complete a minimum of 120 hours in an academic semester. The project I am working on is for the Special Collections department.  My Project is a collection of 21 letters correspondence of John Burke. John Burke was in the union navy during the Civil War.  My project is to read 21 letters and note important details from each letter, titling the letters according to who the letter is from and addressed.  After noting important details from each letter, and titling them, I created finding aids. 

 I worked every Monday for a full day,  my day was split up in the morning I turned each department at the library. I learned about how their department works and how it works with the library as a whole. Then in the afternoon for 2 hours, I work in Special Collections working on my project. My biggest challenge is getting used to reading handwritten letters from the mid-1800s, as they are faded, in cursive, and sometimes squished lettering. My supervisor in the special collection gave me a textbook called Reading early American handwriting by Kip Sperry, It covers early American handwriting, and also has examples. The textbook helped me learn what lettering looks this helped with deciphering the handwriting.  The textbook also had codes for abbreviations that were used at that time to help understand the contents of the letter. 

The only thing I can think of that I would like to do over has more time to FAU’s library to learn and work on my project. I wish I could continue my internship next semester. With that being said, initially, I was to transcribe all of the letters when I was done reading twenty-one letters and note important details from each letter, titling however I ran out of time.  However, I have learned a lot during my internship. Getting hands-on experience with metadata and finding aides, gave me the confidence to know I will succeed in my career. 

Last updated on Jun 19, 2023 11:26 AM