Intern Completes Special Collections Project
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Posted by Katie Richardson
Alexandra Mogan was one of two Pepperdine students to intern in Special Collections and University Archives during the fall semester. Mogan was responsible for organizing, describing, and creating a finding aid for the Charles Marowitz collection of the Malibu Stage Company. Marowitz, a well-known writer, director, and entrepreneur, is also the co-founder of the Malibu Stage Company. The collection Mogan processed includes Marowitz’s files from the period he served as Artistic Director of the company from 1990 to 2002. The finding aid is available here. For further information about viewing the collection or for information on the types of internships available with Special Collections please contact Katie Richardson at email@example.com
This is what Mogan had to say about her experience interning in Special Collections and University Archives:
We live in a world spinning with information. While extraordinary, it also makes it difficult to discern what is truly factual. In our quest to discover truth we often turn to the publications of others who have performed the harrowing task of sifting through piles of information for us. Yet some unrelenting minds may still wonder: where do researchers obtain their information? Where is the starting line for researchers’ race to the truth? The answer is in the Archives, the mecca for all researchers in search for information straight from the source. It is in these archival institutions that the past remains alive. Through careful preservation and processing of collections containing anything from books to photographs to surfboards, archivists prepare the past to answer questions for the future. Part historian, part scientist, part detective, archivists examine and record their findings as they take a journey back into time. With each collection they shadow the lives of the past, watching as history unfolds in front of their eyes. Archives give researchers direct access to primary sources, keeping the truth as pure and untouched as possible. As it was found, it has remained. During my internship at Pepperdine’s archives, I gained insight into this safe house of information. Born with a love for history, I have a natural hunger for information. Be it a book, a program on the History Channel or a historical marker on the side of the highway, I enjoy gathering information. As a student of History, I have learned to become critical of the information presented to me. Is it biased? Is it well-researched? Where have the facts come from? Flipping to the back of the book and looking at the cited works can only do so much. Through my internship I have discovered that archives make the past tangible; it brings the scholar face-to-face with his research. In the archives, the past has not been analyzed and put into a historian’s words; the information remains there, pure and untouched. It has been interesting being a part of the behind-the-scenes work before sources are made available to the researchers. To be an archivist is not simply to be a good processor and organizer. To be an archivist is to be the constructor of the foundation from which truth will be built upon.
Mogan working on her collection.