From the Archives & Special Collections: Pre-Graduation Reflection

The A&SC staff: Adriana Flores ’13, Archivist and Special
Collections Librarian; Mali Matthews ’22, Laura Edgar,
Assistant Archivist; Julia Masur ’19, and Laure Mounts ’20.

Hi! My name is Julia Masur and I’m the Peer Research Specialist in the Archives & Special Collections. Since I graduate in less than three weeks, I’m closing out my time in the A&SC by reflecting on my work here over the past two years.

As a history major, getting to witness firsthand the work that goes into preserving and organizing primary source documents gave me an even greater appreciation for that work. While historians and archivists engage with historical material in different ways, the work of historians would be so much more difficult without professional archivists who are dedicated to preserving history. Through my outreach to student clubs and organizations, I’ve helped the A&SC to accession materials that will hopefully help future historians and researchers learn about student life at Puget Sound.

I’ve also gotten to incorporate my work in the A&SC into my classwork. For an education studies class that I took last fall, we had to plan a lesson and teach it to the rest of the class. My partner and I decided to do our lesson on Japanese-American incarceration during World War II. Since I had just curated an exhibit for the A&SC on that subject, I knew about all the documents that we have in our collection that related to the subject. We were able to incorporate some of those documents into the lesson, which allowed us to center the lesson around the experiences of Japanese-Americans in the area, including students at Puget Sound, which made the lesson feel more relevant to the lives of those we were teaching.

On a more topical note, working in the A&SC means that I’ve learned a lot of random facts about the university that most students don’t know. For example, did you know that Puget Sound used to own a ski lodge on Mount Rainier, or that we could have been the Clamdiggers or the Sky Pilots instead of the Loggers?

Overall, working in the A&SC has been an incredibly valuable co-curricular experience for me. I’m so grateful to the rest of the A&SC staff for making this such an interesting and fun environment to learn and work in, and I’m excited to take the skills and knowledge I’ve gained here and apply it to future careers.

The Archives & Special Collections is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM or by appointment.

By Julia Masur

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