Celebrating Community Engagement at the Columbia MD Archives
Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives
Community engagement is pretty high on our list at the Columbia MD Archives (CMA). Recently, we had the honor of engaging with the next generation for the second summer in a row through our partnership with Howard Community College. Drumroll please for the Columbia MD Archives Summer Field School! 🤓📚📖
This internship program gives students the opportunity to gain real-life experience exploring the field of public history, archival research and curation. It also provides access to the abundance of information on the community of Columbia that Rouse created.
This year’s cohort was made up of three HCC students and two JumpStart students (an HCPSS program that allows high school students to dual enroll at HCC). The group explored the collection RGV Miscellaneous Organizations, which captures 435 Columbia organizations, events and programs. They all collaborated to make an exhibit using the various theater troupe records that this collection contains.
You can check out their wonderful exhibit – Columbia’s Curtain Call: The Lasting Impact of Community Theater – here. Or, check out the physical exhibit in the Academic Commons building on the HCC campus through June 2024.
You can also access the online exhibit created by last year’s cohort: Building & Selling in Columbia, MD. This exhibit explores the Columbia Builders & Developers vertical file, which holds various advertisements, brochures, fliers and clippings about 162 different builders of Columbia. The metadata collected by these participants will be instrumental in our ability to add this collection to the online catalog.
You can get involved, too!
We are so grateful for another great summer of community engagement…but it’s not over yet😉. Did you know that anyone over the age of 16 interested in history, public history, research, archives or curation is welcome to volunteer at the CMA?
Most volunteer projects involve inventorying and numbering collection material, rehousing material into archival safe storage, writing descriptions or creating online exhibits. We also do our best to tailor volunteer activities to the individual to fit their interests and skills. Feel free to email Columbia.Archives@columbiaassociation.org if interested. You can learn more about the CMA here.