Mentoring A New Generation

Our summer interns and Director at a gathering of appreciation.

Our summer interns and Director at a gathering of appreciation.

Edited by Monica Orozco, SBMAL Director

This summer brought SBMAL four amazing interns, Kate Borchard, Rachel Hatcher, Lauren Trujillo, and Brittany Bratcher! These remarkable young women worked in the Archive helping to accomplish several long-term projects. They worked on a variety of subjects and projects, and thus had the opportunity to gain many different skills. One of the main ongoing projects is the digitization of the Father Junípero Serra Collection funded by the Academy of American Franciscan History, to which all four of the interns contributed.  But that’s only one of the many the opportunities our interns had to acquire new skills and to help them as they contemplate where their future may take them. 

While their internships are meant to help them gain experience and new skills, their work and energy were invaluable! Thank you Kate, Rachel, Lauren, and Brittany!

Meet our Interns!

Brittany lending Rachel a hand during digital photography.

Brittany lending Rachel a hand during digital photography.

Rachel Hatcher:
I found my way to the Mission Archive-Library by way of my history degree at Westmont College. At Westmont, I focused on Church history and the Eastern Mediterranean. I knew that I wanted to be involved with Public History, where the academy and the community meet. I looked into work that could blend some of my interests– I found California history to be fascinating and local. I began helping with the Junípero Serra Collection at the Archive-Library in the fall of 2013. I spent my time in the Archive using scanners and Photoshop to digitize the hundreds of documents in the collection.

When Brother Timothy Arthur, OFM began to transition into his retirement from the Provincial Archive, also located at Mission Santa Barbara, I was asked to assist him. Over the summer of 2014, as an intern for both the Mission Archive-Library and the Provincial Archive, I continued to work on digitization projects, photographing novice notebooks and Serra documents, filing projects with Br. Tim, and designing a traveling exhibit project for the Centennial celebration of the Province of Saint Barbara. The exhibit will travel around the Province, from Washington to Mexico, to celebrate the Friars’ history and share their story.

At the Archive-Library, I have had the freedom to tackle my own projects, work with brand new equipment, and be surrounded by fellow history lovers that work hard. I’m exploring my options in public history; I’d like to continue working in archives or museums in California or abroad.

Lauren at the sewing machine making bags for storing the globe collection.

Lauren at the sewing machine making bags for storing the globe collection.

Lauren Trujillo:
Hi I am Lauren Trujillo, a third year at the University of California Santa Barbara majoring in history with a minor in Black Studies. I am from Crescent City, California and I plan to continue my education and career path around museum curatorial and archival work.

I started working as an intern for the SBMAL this spring with the Junípero Serra Collection digitization project. For the summer I was looking forward to expanding my knowledge of archiving and mission history under the Geiger Memorial Internship. I have worked several projects and have the opportunity to try all areas of archival work.
My experience as a Geiger intern has been wonderful and I have been able to accomplish all I was expecting and more. The projects I have been working on over the summer include: preservation of the SBMAL Globe Collection, Old Mission Santa Barbara general files dealing with the 1925 earthquake and restoration, and the Oblasser Collection from the Franciscan Missions in Arizona.

I have learned a lot this summer about archiving, mission history, and Santa Barbara through the process and hope to continue working with SBMAL. My passion for history, preservation, and archival work has grown and I am thankful for the opportunities I have had with this internship.

Great synergy resulted in Brittany and Rachel accidentally dressing alike.

Great synergy resulted in Brittany and Rachel accidentally dressing alike.

Brittany Bratcher:
I was looking for an internship after graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when I first discovered the Archive-Library. As an undergraduate I had studied history and had already dipped my feet into the archival world at the school library, so I knew it was something that I was interested in pursuing. I was also looking to return back to the Santa Barbara area where I had grown up. SBMAL was a perfect fit.

As an intern I spend much of my time working on post-production cleanup of the Junípero Serra Collection in Photoshop. This entails digitally altering the files to make it easier for researchers to read and access while keeping a copy of the original file intact for comparison. However, there are always a lot of other diverse projects that I can work on.

Some days, I might transfer documents and photographic material to a safe archival container so that they will be preserved for years to come. Other days I might spend the day moving books to a more permanent home on the shelves.

When I first began college as an undergraduate I had no idea that there were so many different career paths for history majors. I have since discovered my passion for public history and plan on pursuing a career in a related field. At SBMAL, not only have I come to understand how rich local history can be, but also how historical institutions operate. My time as an intern has been a valuable experience that has better prepared me for wherever my future may take me.

Lauren, Kate and Brittany.

Lauren, Kate and Brittany.

Kate Borchard:
Hi my name is Kate Borchard! I am a native of Camarillo, CA and will be going into my senior year at Furman University in Greenville, SC. I am a History major, with a minor in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, and I love ancient history and prehistory, as well as early American history. I am hoping to pursue work in the museum field, with the ultimate goal of becoming a curator, or possibly a professor.

This summer, I divided my time between working at SBMAL and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. My goal for this summer was to gain a better understanding of how small historic organizations are run and the type of work they do there, as well as becoming familiar with the process of cataloguing, caring for, and preserving historic artifacts through a variety of means. 

I have had the chance to learn about all of these things, and so much more, from both organizations this summer.

At SBMAL in particular, I have worked on preserving the Junípero Serra Collection through the digitization and post-production process, and through re-housing and re-shelving, I helped to better preserve Norman Neuerburg’s extensive photograph collection. I also did a small research project on Neuerburg, as SBMAL houses a vast amount of his personal papers and research material, and was thus able to see the benefits of preservation and of an archive from a research perspective.

 My work this summer has given me a newfound appreciation for early California and mission history, and I have enjoyed becoming more familiar with our local past, as well as learning many new skills that will help me immensely in my future pursuits. Thank you to everyone at SBMAL that has made my time here so informative and worthwhile!

Editor’s note: The Junípero Serra Collection digitization project was funded by the Academy of American Franciscan History. The Assistant Archivist Internship was funded by the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara. The Geiger Memorial Internships are funded by the Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library.

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