During my internship at Otterbein University, I gained experience with several different projects. Below is a list of each of the projects plus a brief description of what it involved.

Cornell Diaries

The key project for this internship was working with the diaries of Lucinda Cornell. These diaries were transcribed years ago and then scanned as well. However, the scans had never been checked for accuracy against the transcriptions. My main job was to go through each document, check the transcription, correct errors that needed to be made, and prepare them for upload to the DigitalCommons@Otterbein. Once uploaded, I assigned metadata to these items and formed standards for how future years can be added easily when they are prepared as well.

Lucinda Lenore Merriss Cornell was a resident of Hilliard before getting married and moving to Westerville. She wrote an extensive collection of diaries, which now reside in the Otterbein Archives. These diaries were written daily, and in often fragmented sentences. They detail the everyday life of a woman in from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The collection is significant for women’s studies and historians alike. Years ago before scanning was available, the diaries were transcribed using a typewriter and placed in binders for easy use. Then these transcriptions were scanned and run through OCR technology. My task was to double check to make sure that what the scanned copies said really matched what the original transcriptions read.

Once the documents were checked, I formatted them using a standard method and uploaded them to the DigitalCommons@Otterbein as well as included the metadata for them as well. In my time I managed to complete the years 1855-1867. The completed documents are available at on Otterbein's Digital Commons.

Alumni Scrapbooks

An extra project I took on was digitizing and creating the metadata for a few scrapbooks. The first was by Maude Burtner, nee Truxal, alumna of Otterbein in 1907. Her scrapbook includes several portraits and a few documents. The second belonged to John Ruskin Howe, fourteenth president of Otterbein completed in 1925. The last belonged to Burgess Shaffer, a student whose scrapbook encompassed a wide variety of materials from his time at Otterbein.

I digitized three scrapbooks during my internship. These contain images of Otterbein students and life around campus. These scrapbooks range in date from 1907 to 1828. The first was by Maude Burtner, nee Truxal, who graduated from Otterbein in 1907, which was when her scrapbook was created. Her scrapbook contains a few photos of buildings, but is largely is portraits of students. There are a few images of the cast from a production of “As You Like It” of which Maude was a member. It also includes a few paper pamphlets from the performance as well as the commencement in 1907.

The second scrapbook belonged to John Ruskin Howe, who was the fourteenth president of Otterbein. His scrapbook was made in 1925. It contains largely photos of people, though there are some of buildings and landscapes as well. There are a few significant figures such as “Pussyfoot” Johnson and Roy Pedeu. It also includes some images of a character in blackface, which while it is an ethical problem today, was just another character from a group called the Varsity “O.”

The third scrapbook belonged to Burgess “Red” Shaffer, who was a student at Otterbein from 1924-1928. His scrapbook covers these years and is in many ways the most interesting due to its wide variety of materials. His scrapbook includes not just photographs, but athletic records for sporting events, clubs and activities on campus, and memorabilia from many areas of campus life.

These scrapbooks were all scanned, corrected, and assembled before being uploaded to the DigitalCommons@Otterbein where they can now be found. I also wrote a short biographical sketch of the creators to include with a list of what can be found in the scrapbooks. The last step was to create the associated metadata for the scrapbooks as well. These can be found on Otterbein's Digital Commons.


This project was smaller, and was mainly an opportunity to learn what LibGuides are. Part of my time was spent learning how to create LibGuides as well as transition some of the existing 1.0 LibGuides Otterbein staff has already created to LibGuides 2.0. The three LibGuides I worked on are the Photography, Volunteering, and Streaming Video guides.

With the pending transition from LibGuides 1.0 to 2.0, Otterbein Faculty are busy trying to fix the formatting of their guides to work with the new framework. Tiffany believed this would be a good opportunity for me to learn about and get familiar with the software. I spoke with Jessica about learning how they work, and after getting an account created, Allen gave me access to three of his guides to work on. Each of these are listed below. I went through and corrected the various boxes that were in each page and adjusted them to work with how 2.0 will be arranged. In some cases I also added new material and rearranged pages to be better organized and presented. The plan was to adjust everything now so that the transition goes smoothly and none of the information is broken on the other side of the transition.

The three LibGuides I worked on were the Photography, Streaming Video, and Volunteer Opportunity guides.

Collection Development

Due to my background in art, Allen asked me to search around and find 4-5 books on camera obscura to add to the collection because of an art exhibit coming to Otterbein in September. I only found one book on camera obscura, but also included several books on artists that work with photography.

One smaller project I worked on was ordering several books for the Otterbein library. I was given $500 to purchase materials with, and this time they changed the guidelines for how interns would order materials for the library. Instead of having free reign to buy items, I was given a subject area to focus on. I could then buy materials I felt were needed or missing in that area. That way I still get the ability to make decisions myself, but the library gets materials that are actually useful to have in the collection.

My subject area was art, specifically photography. Because of my undergraduate degree in art, Allen suggested I look into this area. Additionally, any books on camera obscura would be perfect to add because of an event happening on campus during the fall semester that Allen is involved in. The artist had created a giant camera obscura that you can enter and see how the camera works. Unfortunately, the amount of recent books in camera obscura are significantly lacking. Thus, the only book I could get for that topic was Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces by Philip Steadman. The remaining books I ordered were all about specific photographers.

The other titles I selected were Horst: Photographer of Style, Nikki S. Lee: Parts, Francesca Woodman: Works from the Sammlung Verbund, James Casebere: Works 1975-2010, and Robert Mapplethorpe: The Nymph Photography.

Grant Writing

Because I took a workshop on grant writing, the opportunity to apply for a grant was a topic of interest. The chance to put my classroom training into real world practice seems like a good approach. A grant was given to me along with a previously used proposal to try and adapt it to the new requirements.

Because I took a course at Kent State on grant writing, I was interested in the opportunity to do some grant work for Otterbein. After searching around, Stephen sent me a grant as well as a previously used proposal for a grant they did not receive before. My duty was to read over the proposal and the new grant requirements and evaluate what changes would need to be made.

At first pass the proposal sounded good and well thought out. I did a few updates to change the name of who the grant was provided by and updated some dates to match the new time frame. But after reviewing the application rules, I realized this was a larger project than I really had time for. I had serious doubts about how well the current proposal could be adapted for use with the new grant requirements. I made note of these concerns and gave them to Stephen along with a few ideas on how they could make it work as well. But my general opinion was that it was beyond my capabilities, and would need some strong revisions in order to apply for this grant.