A UNLV GRADUATE STUDENT'S INTERNSHIP AT THE CLARK COUNTY MUSEUM
Allen Linnabary - November 6, 2016
Last fall I entered the Graduate College History program at UNLV. For my minor focus, I chose Public History to help develop my interest in museums and museum studies. As a requirement of this minor, all students must complete an internship, typically during the summer. Even though Las Vegas is not a city particularly known for its museums, the institutions that are in the Las Vegas Valley are fantastic places to learn and explore different areas of expertise.
Out of the choices I had, I chose to do my internship at the Clark County Museum in Henderson. I had never been to the museum before and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had experience working in a museum already, but I knew that this museum was going to be something entirely different than what I was used to. Whereas the museum I work for ranged from Meso-American artifacts to contemporary art, the Clark County Museum covered every aspect of life in Clark County from prehistory right up to modern day.
As I was the first UNLV Grad Student to intern at the museum, I became a guinea pig on which to test all possible tasks that one could do. They ranged from cataloguing to condition-reporting objects. As condition reporting is not my favorite thing to do, cataloguing became my main task. The Clark County Museum has an immense collection of objects which allowed me to expand my interests to a new area practically every day. There were objects which represented so many different aspects of time and interests which always kept me entertained. My biggest problem was trying to find a place to start. There were so many options that one could become lost simply by looking down an aisle and finding something that piques their interest.
I greatly enjoyed my time at the Clark County Museum because it gave me an opportunity to look at how an institution manages a large collection with so many different materials from so many different time frames. Because they did not limit me and were actually curious about me and my interests and what I wanted to get out of my experience, I was able to learn things that I did not know and get a well-rounded view of a museum.
Even though their collection is immense and may be intimidating to some, I greatly encourage anyone who is interested to intern at the museum and take advantage of all the resources they have to offer.
Allen Linnabary is a graduate student at UNLV pursuing a major in History and a minor in Public History.