Creating a More Inclusive History and A Remote Internship
By: Taylor Brookins
This summer, I am working for the NorthEast Regional Office of the National Park Service as an Historian intern. The NorthEast Regional Office is based out of Philadelphia, PA. The NorthEast Regional office oversees National Historic Landmarks in 13 states. Those states are; Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. I am very excited to have this opportunity. I stumbled across this internship while searching for jobs in the museum/history field. I recently graduated with a Master’s in Museums Studies and Historical Preservation and see this internship as a great way to enhance my research skills and gain more experience in cultural resource management. My internship also has a Direct Hire Authority component which really attracted me to this opportunity.
The work I will specifically be doing at my internship entails identifying properties within the state of Delaware that have Native American and African American History in correlation with the National Park Service’s “Telling All Americans’ Stories” initiative. The “Telling All Americans’ Stories” initiative’s main goal is to tell diverse stories about the many contributors to America’s history. I will also be working with First State National Park in Delaware to update the information about slavery at the John Dickinson Plantation. I am excited to have the opportunity to assist in creating a more comprehensive history about the enslaved individuals who lived on the John Dickinson Plantation because all of the past inhabitants of the property deserve to have their stories told. I am thrilled to be a part of both these projects because I think it’s important to tell diverse stories within the National Park Service.
My internship is completely remote which has been a learning experience, but I feel as though I am handling it well. Although I am not physically at the office, I have had plenty of opportunities to get to know the staff at the NorthEast Regional office via video calls. My first two weeks at my internship have been filled with lots of video calls and conferences. Every morning my internship supervisor and I speak on the phone and I have been included in all video conference calls for regional team meetings. Although working remotely was not how I originally envisioned this internship going, it has turned out to still be a good experience so far. I have already learned so much about the inner workings of the National Park Service and the roles historians play in its management.