Last week, I began my internship at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum’s Anthropology Department. When I initially heard the Anthropology Department was accepting applications for its summer internship program, I thought it would be such an awesome opportunity to gain more experience in the lab. Most of my anthropology experience thus far has been classroom-based, and I was very interested in expanding my knowledge base – specifically in the area of archaeological laboratory techniques.
Over the past few weeks, I have participated in a number of different activities. I have had the chance to help re-house artifacts, sort through midden, and had the opportunity to handle some glass negatives over in the archives. The activity that stood out to me the most, though, was the one I found most challenging – scanning project manuscripts.
I have spent the bulk of my afternoon sessions scanning manuscripts from fieldwork conducted by the B. P. Bishop Museum’s Anthropology Department across the Hawaiian archipelago. It was challenging for me personally because it is a more solitary job, and I’m more of a social person who loves talking with the other interns and employees. For me, scanning was a little lonely and boring – and I found myself almost always in serious need of a caffeine boost to help me push through. Although I do not exactly enjoy scanning, I was more than willing to do it because I saw the importance behind it.
The department is working to digitize these documents so we can upload an itemized manuscript inventory to the Hawaiian Archaeological Survey (HAS) database, in conjunction with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). The inventory will also be incorporated into OHA’s Papakilo Database in the future. As a future researcher, I understand the importance of responsible research and data being easily accessible and available to all. Once uploaded onto the HAS database, the manuscripts inventory, and the bounty of information contained in their pages, will be more easily accessible to those interested. With that knowledge, I know that the many hours I spent scanning manuscripts were well worth it. It has been a great privilege to have been involved in this scanning endeavor!
A hui hou!