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Hannah standing with trees behind her wearing a coat
Image courtesy of Emma Gellman

Five Questions, Intern Edition: Hannah Meyer, 2023 Junior Fellow

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What is your background?

I grew up in Kensington, Maryland, as an avid reader and library goer. I am a graduate student studying library science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, I am hoping to find a job where I can provide recreational reading to undergraduate students. Outside of the library, I love crafting, baking, playing piano, watching theater, walking and reading.

How did you learn about the intern program and why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?

I found out about the Junior Fellows program from my university’s career center. As a library science major, the Library of Congress has often come up in classes as the most influential library in the United States. I knew that working for the Library of Congress would be a valuable experience.

Looking at the various Junior Fellowships available, the Adding Diversity to the Business History Record fellowship instantly stood out to me. I enjoy doing in-depth research about history and often find myself entering a research rabbit hole in my everyday life. I feel strongly that highlighting the contributions of groups who often escape recognition is a valuable task. This position perfectly aligned with my interests and values.

How would you describe your internship?

During my fellowship I wrote and published entries in the This Month in Business History guide. These entries featured substantive biographies or organizational profiles, depending on the topic. The entries also include suggested related resources. To prepare, I did extensive research using Library of Congress materials. I created an entry on the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and another one for A. Philip Randolph, which were both published, and I am working on entries for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. I was supervised by Lynn Weinstein, whose expertise and kindness have helped me to grow as a worker and an individual.

Although I have always enjoyed learning about history, the past has often felt distant to me. Getting to research using primary sources, such as first-person narratives, recordings of speeches, and photographs, has helped me to feel a newfound appreciation for and connection to America’s history.

What amazed you most about the Library?

I was most amazed by the sheer volume and variety of materials that were available. Prior to this fellowship I had never thought about the variety of items held by the Library that aren’t books. I loved learning about the weirder Library holdings, such as Walt Whitman’s hair or the wedding cake of General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren.

What have you learned about the Library that you didn’t know before you started your internship?

Prior to this fellowship I knew very little about how the Library of Congress worked. Participating in the Professional Development Sessions offered by the Junior Fellowship program allowed me to learn about many of the different departments and collections at the Library. Through my research I have discovered resources that are accessible online, such as Chronicling America, the various Library of Congress blogs, the variety of images available with no restrictions from the Prints and Photographs division, and so many more. I plan to refer patrons to these great resources in the future. I am looking forward to using the valuable skills and knowledge I have gained through this fellowship in my career as a librarian.

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