Reflections From My Archive Internship

Written by: Chriziel Childers



Chriziel Childers Viewing Old Maps
Chriziel Childers cataloging historic maps



Today marks the last day of my 11 week long summer internship at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. I have learned so much from the short term I was here. I was able to catalog most of the maps, plans, and drawings the park had in their collections. While working as an archives technician intern, I also participated in other duties such as Integrated Pest Management and conservation of collections.

Starting out, I had knowledge of basic processing and cataloging from my previous positions. However, it was my first time taking a whole collection and doing all of its tasks independently. I consulted my on-site supervisor on starting the collection, and how to successfully manage and work with it. 

My 440 hours of ACE service in numbers:

  • Processed 4749 sheets for cataloging
  • Cataloged 13 drawers of maps, which includes:
    • 301 file-level unit maps (4101 sheets)
    • 366 sheets of maps in item-level unit
  • Cataloged 3 boxes of maps
  • Created 1 custom enclosure box
  • Volunteered 4 hours at the park’s nursery

I was not able to fully complete the cataloging of all the maps, plans, and drawings for the park, but being able to quantify what I accomplished, and being able to list out what’s the next step in order to fully catalog and create a finding aid for the collections gives me a better understanding of what I am capable of in a certain time frame. 

My official ACE service ends today, but I will continue my service with Lake Mead National Recreation Area as a student volunteer for Fall 2021. My experience with ACE has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done so far, and seeing my contribution to the park’s collection made me proud of what I did over the summer. I am hoping that I could do another ACE service term in the future, with more knowledge and experience than I had starting my first one. 



Lake Mead National Recreation Area Headquarters
A view from Lake Mead National Recreation Area Headquarters
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