» Student Profile: William Jenkins

April 19, 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 William Jenkins, a Freshman and African American Studies and Political Science major at the College of Charleston. 

My first year at the Avery Research Center, as a freshman undergraduate assistant, has been an eye-opening experience. I have had the opportunity to work on various research projects and collaborate with scholars in my field, which has greatly expanded my knowledge and skills in African American history and civic engagement. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to learn and grow in so many meaningful ways. I have had the chance to meet academic and civil rights legends such as Minerva (Brown) King and Millicent Brown, as well as numerous guest speakers ranging from historical interpreters to scholarly lectures on Black history, civil rights, and women’s history. 

My job responsibilities included gathering and logging archival materials and conducting research, assisting and shadowing tours of the Avery to better understand its history and significance, participating in community outreach events, and doing whatever else was required, such as setting up tables and chairs for special events. 

I was assigned to catalog a donation made to the Avery by the family of George G. Lee, a well-known Black photographer in the Charleston area who died on February 11, 2010. Over 20 linear feet of photographs and negatives were mostly left uncataloged for over a decade since being donated. Since 2021, various student employees have been working to rehouse the items, but no one ever finished because the collection is so large. When I started my job here in September 2023, I continued the process by completing nearly two boxes each containing hundreds of negatives and there are still eight boxes and thousands of negatives and photographs to go. It is very tedious work but rewarding to know one day this G. G. Lee’s collection will be accessible to the public. 

BUILDING CLOSURES: We will be closed to the public on Monday, May 27th.
MUSEUM TOURS: We offer self-guided tours Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1030AM-12PM and 2PM-330PM. Large groups limited 25 people or less per time slot.
ARCHIVES: Researchers must have a consultation BEFORE making a research appointment. Contact us in advance for further assistance