» Student Profile: Sterling Pettit-Chancley

April 18, 2024
Staff News, News & Notes, History News

In the coming weeks, we will be featuring profiles of student employees and interns. This post is written by Sterling Pettit-Chancley, a Senior and History major at the College of Charleston. 

I interned at Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture during the 2024 Spring Semester. My experience has been educational and rewarding. I learned about the center’s daily operations while also contributing to its mission, which has been my favorite part. I worked on various projects during my internship, including at the front desk, greeting and directing visitors, and in the reading room, assisting researchers with retrieving archival material.  

 My favorite project was mapping the archives. I used an Excel spreadsheet to itemize the archival collections and detail where archival boxes were located. This project helped me become familiar with the different collections at Avery and, more importantly, will help Avery staff retrieve archival material for researchers more effectively.  

Another project I enjoyed was “Black Love at Avery.” I searched for material representing love between couples in our archives for this project. After I found five couples, with 3 to 5 pieces of archival material for each couple, I organized the information in a folder. I shared it with Avery’s staff for easy access to post on social media throughout February. This project helped highlight archival material to potential researchers on social media and bring attention to the mission of Avery as it relates to promoting the history of the Black experience. 

One of the most important things I learned during my internship was how to process unprocessed archival material based on “Describing Archives: A Content Standard.” One of the projects I worked on this semester was processing Mary DeSaussure’s unprocessed papers. These papers will be helpful for future researchers who are interested in African American girls in sports in New York. The skills I gained during the experience will be useful if I pursue work in an archive, museum, or nonprofit.   

BUILDING CLOSURES: We will be closed to the public on Monday, May 27th.
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