We regularly feature the interns whose hard work positively impacts the Library. Today’s interview is with a 2022 participant in the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) internship program, Queenie Don.
Describe your background.
I was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California, where my family settled after immigrating from Vietnam. I earned my bachelor’s in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2022. Despite being in the midst of COVID-19, I really cherish my time there where I made meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students. My introduction to working in library spaces was my student assistant position at the university’s on-campus libraries. I am very thankful for my time there as I developed valuable skills that I hope to apply in my future endeavors.
What is your academic/professional history?
In my library work as an undergraduate, I collaborated with library staff and other student assistants to meet the digital needs of student patrons, from helping students use 3D printing equipment to developing 360-degree virtual tours. After concluding my undergraduate studies, I completed two valuable internship experiences with The Huntington Library and the Library of Congress to further explore library and archive spaces. In my time at The Huntington Library, I produced online research guides related to specific collecting areas, assisted researchers in accessing special collections materials, and contributed to the funding proposal for a digitization project.
How would you describe your job to other people?
During my time at the Library of Congress, I applied archival principles of arrangement and description by identifying, sorting, and describing a portion of unprocessed records of the NAACP collection. I also analyzed and conducted research using records to compose a blog post to highlight the life and work of NAACP Mississippi Field Secretary Medgar Evers. I deeply appreciate my experience working with great people at the Library of Congress and the opportunity to write about a pivotal figure in American history using the archives.
Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
As an aspiring archives professional, I found this opportunity to refine my archival skills through hands-on experience to be potentially rewarding and foundational to my understanding of the archives profession. In my previous work, I found an interest in pursuing a career that engages with the community by making accessible archived collections. So, I was thrilled at the prospect of strengthening my understanding of archival work and working with such a historically significant collection through the AHHA program.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Library of Congress?
I was both amazed and surprised by the history of James Madison’s crystal flute and the event of the musician, Lizzo, playing said flute. The fact that this historic event occurred during my short time at the Library of Congress was surreal. Through that, I found it interesting how the Library of Congress’ archival collections continues to both document the American experience as well as contribute to making American history.
What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
Although knitting and sewing are well-known hobbies of mine, one of my hobbies that my co-workers do not know is printmaking. Specifically, I developed a love for linoleum block printing after taking a course about book arts in the last year of my undergraduate career. I love the process of carving the linoleum blocks and using the on-campus printing press room. One project I am proud of is a reduction lino cut of an image from my perspective sitting across from a friend and enjoying a bowl of noodles.
Continue on the AHHA Path with Queenie
Listen to Queenie share knowledge and lessons learned from the Providing Access to the Records of the NAACP project in her AH-HA Talk.
In The Legacy of Medgar Evers through the NAACP Records blog post, Queenie dives into boxes of correspondence and reports to amplify the voice of Medgar Evers.