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Some of the Libraries' summer student interns and faculty research assistants at the PhillyDH@Penn "unconference" on June 20.
Some of the Libraries' summer student interns and faculty research assistants at the PhillyDH@Penn "unconference" on June 20.

2014 Libraries Summer Interns

Each summer, the Libraries sponsor a number of student research internships. This year, we have six students working on various projects, from creating data visualizations from a Quaker manuscript collection to researching the history of comic books.

2014 Summer Student Interns:

Charlie Espinosa ‘15

Charlie, a senior anthropology major, is doing research in the Libraries’ Comic Book Collection for an exhibit he is curating on comic books, which will be on display in Magill’s Sharpless Gallery next spring. In his research, he is focusing on the ways that, beginning in the 1980s, comic book artists diverged from the conventional superhero narrative, both in content and illustration, and presented new kinds of heroes. This deviation symbolized both an important progression in the comic book mythos as well a disintegration of Cold War-era American idealism.

Jordan Nieusma ‘14

Jordan, who recently graduated with a major in English and minor in French, is researching Thomas Scattergood (1748–1814), a traveling Quaker minister and founder of the Friends Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, the nation’s first privately run psychiatric hospital. She is working with the Scattergood materials in Quaker & Special Collections, particularly some of his journals that the Libraries recently purchased. Jordan’s research will culminate in a digital exhibit focusing on the language and communication styles that Scattergood employs in his journals and letters, and the often fuzzy distinction between literary and non-literary writing.

Andrew Kafker '17, Cormac Rada '17, and Brandon Smith '16

Andrew, Cormac, and Brandon are working on the Cope-Evans Collection this summer. This collection, part of Quaker & Special Collections, contains nearly 3,000 letters and other papers, as well as hundreds of digitized artifacts, of the Cope and Evans families, spanning the early 18th to the early 20th century. Andrew and Cormac are researching the families through the Collection and secondary scholarship to create a narrative about the changes that travel and education brought to the Philadelphia Quaker community in the 19th century. Brandon, a computer science major, is using the data from the Collection to create a series of visualizations, including an interactive map of correspondences, a “social graph” of the individuals represented in the Collection that uses an algorithm similar to that of Google’s PageRank, and a chart showing word frequency over time. Brandon’s visualizations and Andrew and Cormac's research will be made accessible through a website that the team is developing.

Blair Rush ‘16

Blair, a computer science major who worked with the Libraries last summer to create a mobile website for an exhibit, is working largely behind the scenes this summer, ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support the various digital projects that students are undertaking.

Mohamed Abdalkader ‘14

After graduating this spring with a major in computer science and minor in political science at Bryn Mawr, Mohamed was kind enough to stick around for a month before heading out to California, where he will begin an engineering internship at Google. He is working with the Digital Scholarship team to support Associate Professor of Political Science Criag Borowiak's Solidarity Economy project.

Rachel Berger ‘16 (Swarthmore)

Rachel, a Tri-Co Digital Humanities summer intern, is working with Haverford's collection of American dime novels, published between the mid-19th and early 20th century. The collection includes several early dime novels with Quaker themes; over 70 issues of a detective serial starring a fictional Quaker detective, Old Broadbrim; and a complete set of Beadle's “Frontier Series,” 100 dime novel westerns reissued by Arthur Westbrook in 1908, which was recently donated to Special Collections. To showcase the materials and her research, Rachel is designing a digital exhibit focused on "second-generation" boy heroes in dime novels and how they fit into the social history of the time.

We also have several students working as faculty research assistants who are working closely with our librarians.

Rachel Grunden ‘16 and Kavita Shroff ‘17

Rachel and Kavita are working with Emeritus Professor of History Emma Lapsansky-Werner to research the social network and day to day life of Naomi McClenachan Morris (1811–1893), the matriarch of a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker family, focusing on the latter half of the 19th century. They are reading and transcribing primary documents in Quaker & Special Collections, including letters and journals of Naomi and her family members. Their work is part of Professor Lapsansky-Werner’s ongoing research into the Morris-Shinn-Maier family between the 1860s and 1920s.

Anneke Heher ‘14 and Carolyn Anderson ‘14 (Swarthmore)

Anneke and Carolyn, both recent graduates who majored in Linguistics, are continuing their work this summer with Assistant Professor of Linguistics Brook Lillehaugen on the Ticha project, a digital initiative, sponsored by Haverford and Tri-Co Digital Humanities, to transcribe and mark up a 1578 Zapotec grammar written by a Spanish priest in Oaxaca, Mexico. The two of them are transcribing the text and marking it in XML, a commonly used markup language, using TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), a set of guidelines for applying XML to texts in order to make them more accessible and usable for scholars. They are also doing design work on the project website.

Jenna Kowalski '17

Jenna is working with Shannon Mudd, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics and Coordinator of the Microfinance Program, on Mapping Microfinance, a collaborative project between Mudd, the student-run Microfinance Consulting Club, and the Digital Scholarship team at the Libraries. The projects collects and compiles locational data for microfinance institutions in developing countries. Jenna's internship is funded through the Chesick Scholars Program.

Julie Ta ‘16

Julie is working with Associate Professor of Classics Bret Mulligan as well as the Digital Scholarship team at the Libraries to develop an online resource for students studying Greek and Latin and reading classical texts. Her internship is funded through a Tri-Co Digital Humanities grant.

Evan Hamilton ‘17

Evan is working with Associate Professor of History Andrew Friedman to develop an Omeka site that will be used in Friedman’s class on Walter Benjamin and Lancaster Avenue this fall. The class focuses on applying Benjamin's methodology to telling a history of Lancaster Avenue, the thoroughfare running from West Philadelphia out to the Main Line suburbs. In his work, Evan is reading Benjamin to make sense of his historical practices and doing front- and back-end web development to create a visually and theoretically compelling website. In the latter part, he is working closely with Laurie Allen and Mike Zarafonetis from the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship team. Evan's internship is also funded through a Tri-Co Digital Humanities grant.

The ramp from Magill Library with Ryan Gym and Sharpless Hall in the background.

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