Summer in the Stacks: Interning at the Library of Congress

Gabrielle Winick ’13 is interning with the Library of Congress Publishing Office in Washington, D.C., assisting on the production of two books and getting a glimpse of the publishing world. 

Before Gabrielle Winick ’13 began her internship with the Library of Congress Publishing Office this summer, the English major had grown quite familiar with the historic building. She had already spent hours within the walls of the Library of Congress, reading and doing work over school breaks.

Thanks to sponsorship from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Winick is funded to work with one of the country’s largest book collections. It’s a dream come true for the English major. “It’s a closed stacks library, and I’m always so envious of the people who get to go into the stacks and get books,” she said. “I’m now one of those people!” Winick, who hopes to go into publishing after graduation, has been able to sit in on meetings and brainstorming sessions, getting an even better sense of the publishing profession.

She is involved in research for two books that the Library of Congress will publish. The first is focused on the Italian-American experience, for which Winick has primarily searched for photos that relate to Italian-American immigration, business, sports and even the mafia. Her second project is about the history of American football. “I’ve found a lot of advertisements as well as many fictional narratives where the protagonist is a football player who faces and overcomes a moral dilemma on and off the field,” she said. She’s done research on periodicals and serials that catered to a variety of audiences—women, boys, girls and teens—and their relationship to American football.

The English major, who says she needs a map to find her way around the library’s stacks, says that even on quieter days, she can let herself get lost in the books. “When I’m at my desk, in a reading room, or in the stacks I’m completely engrossed by what I’m doing and before I know it, it’s five o’clock,” Winick says. “The stacks are huge and you can just get lost in them.”

--Erin Adaline Seglem '14