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Samantha Losben, Internship at Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Fall 2010

As an intern at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, which is a part of the New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, I worked on several projects. The majority of my internship focused on creating an item-level inventory for two recently acquired collections. The Georgia Gibbs collection, which contains materials such as interviews, radio and television performances, and studio takes of various songs that were donated by the estate of the popular 1940s singer, is comprised of several formats including audiotape cassettes, LPs, VHS tapes, 16mm film, etc. The second collection I inventoried was the Hume Cronyn collection, which contained recordings belonging to and of actors Hume Cronyn and his wife Jessica Tandy. Formats range from ¼” open reels to LPs to audio cassettes, and featured various types of content such as interviews, speeches, sound effects, play rehearsals, etc.

In addition to these projects, I also assisted on a few other ongoing projects and regular tasks. These included assisting with researching holdings to help with donations and reference inquiries, as well as participating in a comprehensive collections shifting endeavor that required re-classmarking certain records for better accessibility. Dealing with the concerns for space, locating and researching materials for patron access, and going through many boxes of unprocessed materials helped me to learn a great deal. I was able to learn how an archive works within a library, and particularly learn a lot about RHA and the New York Public Library System. Overall, it was a great learning experience as well as a pleasure being at Lincoln Center and working with RHA staff.

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