After my two weeks of army fun in the sun in Virginia, I returned for the final week of my internship. The week started as usual with housekeeping on Tuesday. That completed, we set up a photo area to take pictures of firearms for my exhibit. Photographing the pistols was easy enough, but photographing muskets and fowlers turned out to be much more difficult. We had to set up a much longer roll of paper for the background, and in order to get far enough away to have the entire weapon in my shot I had to use a ladder and take pictures from above.
Pictures taken, I proceeded to edit them, which mostly consisted of cropping them. I continued that for the rest of the day.
Wednesday began with some additional editing to my core labels, and then writing my caption labels. Before I finished those, we went to get a musket out of the exhibit case for a picture. This proved to be much more difficult than it should have been, as we had to dismantle a large portion of the case to get it open. Ideally, exhibit cases should be designed for secure yet easy access to the objects. That way, objects can be rotated, exhibits can be kept fresh, and no one has trouble getting to them. This case was designed in the 1970s however, and needs improvement in various areas.
Once finished with this, I returned to writing captions and editing my photos. Ideally, I’d like to edit out the background and musket stands and turn it into a transparent layer, but unfortunately that process takes a lot of time. Once done with that, I began uploading the weapons to Omeka, which is a fairly simple and repetitive process.
Thursday was my final day. We started by going to the Muhlenberg Brigade huts to do some training with the interpreters on what was in the exhibits to help them provide better interpretation. After this, I continued work on Omeka, which mostly consisted of copy-pasting my already written labels into exhibit builder and then fighting with the web layout until I had it the way I wanted. Once my exhibit was up and ready on my website, I went into the park's Omeka sites to sort out the previous exhibits and upload mine. However, I discovered the park had two separate Omeka sites as well as a site called Atavist. While I was able to do an Omeka API import to get my content into one of Valley Forge's Omeka sites, I could not transfer my theme over and ran out of time to sort out consolidating the rest of the park's web content. I will be back at the park as a volunteer to fire the cannon again and to help sort out the web mess I found.
Total hours I spent at the park for this internship: 141.25