This three part post documents the experiences of three students in their first internship at Special Collections and FIT archives. The mission statement of the Special Collections is to acquire, preserve and provide access to wide range of primary materials in their original formats, including archives, scrapbooks, oral histories, fashion sketches, illustrations, books, journals and other items.
Dreams come true in the storage room
By Christian Hernandez
Over the course of the past five years, it has become blatantly clear that working with historic dress, textile and related artifact collections is not only an interest but a passion of mine. Applying and being accepted into this program was a dream come true and yet, every day only gets better. Within the first few days of starting this program I was introduced to Karen Cannell and the Special Collections and Archives at FIT.
With a specific interest in paper storage and conservation as it relates to dress and textiles collections (the “related artifacts” in my interest/passion) I am in heaven whenever I step into the storage room at Special Collections, which I am now an intern at. Among the many other things that I am in awe of, Special Collections has original sketches from the in-house Bergdorf Goodman designer, unpublished Versace runway shots, etiquette books from the turn of the century and magazines, and the first ever issue of Harpers Bazar, something not even the Harpers Archive has. I also have a personal interest in paper conservation, restoration, storage and handling as it relates to dress and textile collections, which means that not only do I get to look through centuries old magazines, but I can help make sure they last for years to come.
Although my time there has just begun, I have already learnt so much and will relish any other knowledge that I can absorb. My fellow interns, the staff at the Special Collections, Karen herself and the people who utilize the archives for their research have taught me so much. I look forward to what the future has to come because these few shifts so far have been a dream come true.