Friday, June 8, 2012

Meet Our New AARL Archives Intern for Summer 2012

The AARL Archives Division hosts graduate interns who desire practical experience in special collections.  This year we have another dynamic student, Jessica Perkins Smith.  I asked her a few questions about her background and interests...

KCW:  What is your academic institution?

JPS:  Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science.  I will graduate in December '12 with an MLIS, with an archives focus.

KCW:  Why did you select AARL as an internship site?

JPS:  I have a history and archival research background, and the Civil Rights movement has always been my main area of interest. Interning at Auburn Avenue is allowing me to work with collections that interest me, but I also knew that I would learn from the archivist here by getting great hands on experience in processing, writing finding aids, and helping researchers.

KCW:  What is your internship assignment/project?

JPS:  I am currently working on processing the papers of Atlanta attorney Donald L. Hollowell. Hollowell was instrumental in several prominent Civil Rights cases in Atlanta and throughout Georgia.

KCW:  What is the most interesting item you've handled?

JPS:  Hollowell represented Preston Cobb, the 15 year old African American teen convicted and sentenced to death for killing a white man in 1961 in Georgia. Hollowell succeeded in getting Cobb's execution stayed and, eventually his death sentence was commuted and Cobb served 18 years in prison. In processing Hollowell's papers I found correspondence between Hollowell and a Baltimore businessman, Abe Blumenthal, who had taken an interest in Preston Cobb's case and wanted to help. Blumenthal wanted to help Cobb continue his education while in prison and helped by sending money and writing Cobb letters.

Posted by Kerrie Cotten Williams, Archivist and Manager of the AARL Archives Division

No comments:

Post a Comment