Hope Smalley’s experience as the collections intern at the Rosenbach

My name is Hope Smalley and I was the collections intern at the Rosenbach this summer. Over the course of my ten-week internship, I had the unique opportunity to experience all the amazing things that the collections department does on a daily basis. From looking at letters in a barn to installing an exhibition, to celebrating Bloomsday, it is safe to say that each day was full of something different.

The barn in Bucks County
The barn in Bucks County

A large portion of my internship involved conducting an inventory of some of the museum’s prints, drawings, and objects that once belonged to the poet Marianne Moore (of which there are many). It was amazing to see so many of the objects that the museum has obtained throughout its history.

Three footlockers filled with personal letters and memorabilia to sort through
Three footlockers filled with personal letters and memorabilia to sort through

I also had the amazing opportunity to witness the installation of the museum’s most recent exhibition, a highlight of some of the collection’s Americana. While this installation was originally installed for Wawa’s Welcome America Open House, the exhibit will not close until September 3, giving you plenty of time to see some of these objects.

Hope and exhibition designer Casey discuss installation strategy
Hope and exhibition designer Casey discuss installation strategy

One of my favorite parts of my internship was working with the Mercedes de Acosta collection. The Rosenbach has some amazing objects relating to the writer and socialite Mercedes de Acosta. I had not heard of Mercedes de Acosta prior to my internship, but quickly became intrigued by her story. I was able to assist in some research regarding two pairs of shoes that the museum now believes are Mercedes. These shoes will be on display soon so keep an eye out for that!

Mercedes de Acostas shoes (2006.0016)
Mercedes de Acostas shoes (2006.0016)

The past ten weeks have been an amazing opportunity to explore everything that the Rosenbach offers. Throughout my time as an intern, I was able to see how objects come into the museum, are stored, and how they are installed for the public to view and enjoy.

Hope Smalley, moving an exhibition case
Hope Smalley, moving an exhibition case

This internship has made the summer one that I will never forget. Thank you so much to the Rosenbach for giving me this incredible opportunity!

Hope is a senior English and Communication major at Rosemont College.

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