This past summer I worked for Ken Turino of Historic New England and Tufts University(Exhibition Planning and Historic House Museums). Having been in remote school for a year at this time, I was prepared to conduct my museum studies practicum remotely. While my internship certainly was not the traditional practicum internship experience, I did gain a great deal of insight into the workings of regional heritage organizations like Historic New England. My responsibilities included assisting Ken and Max Van Balgooy on compiling a bibliography for their new book: Interpreting Christmas at House Museums and Historic Sites, as well as researching female abolitionists in New England and their contributions to the development of modern day Christmas traditions through abolitionist fairs. I was also able to attend a meeting with some of the book’s authors to further understand the process of writing a book with many different authors. 

The bibliography passed by rather quickly, and before I knew it I was on my way to researching female abolitionists in New England. My research focus is early modern Europe, specifically women and gender roles; so while I was familiar with women’s history I certainly didn’t have significant experience on either American History or late modern history. I entered the Tufts Museum Studies and History Graduate program with the intention of becoming a curator; a job which requires significant research skills. Through this internship I was able to hone my research skills as well as apply them to different objects and interpret them, something similar to the job of a curator. This summer research culminated into a presentation which Ken and I will present entitled, Deck the Halls: Female Abolitionist Societies and the Evolution of Christmas. This will be presented on November 30 from 6-7 PM. This Event is virtual, so anyone is welcome to reserve their spot via this link and attend! The content is fascinating and details some of the history of female abolitionists in New England and how they influenced the development of modern day Christmas traditions through holding abolitionist fairs during the Christmas season to raise money and awareness towards the abolitionist movement.