Preserving Hope

by Elena De Marco

3108C1C5-1At the World Golf Hall of Fame, I work as an intern for the curator on the Bob Hope Collection. Working four times a week I have the chance to protect priceless artifacts and learn about the legendary entertainer Bob Hope. I spend each day at the site of the Bob Hope Collection, which is away from the museum. I work three days a week with the assistant curator and one day with the curator. Working closely with these two people I have learned different techniques of working with the collection. For the first month of my internship my assignment has been to rehouse some of Hope’s 1,236 plaques from their moving boxes to new open-shelf housing. Through those plaques I have learned of the many awards Hope received and the prestigious people with whom he was once friends.

Outside of the hours I work, I have devoted time towards learning more about Hope and the database used for the collection. I began by reading a magazine special on Hope’s life, living just after his 100th birthday he spent most of his life in the spotlight. Then I watched some of his more than 50 movies, where he displayed his characteristic humor and silliness. To really understand Hope’s career, I began reading a biography on him titled Bob Hope: A Life in Comedy in which I have learned all about his transition from the street to vaudeville to Broadway to radio to movies to television to the front. Hope had a fascinating career and all of it was for the people.

CD5D150F-1To help preserve this collection and Hope’s memory I have learned the steps it takes to protect each artifact. With plaques, I have learned the material they are best stored in and how to wrap them with delicacy. I have also had the unfortunate chance to see what happens to broken items and learned how to prevent further damage. Finally, I have learned how the artifacts should be cataloged so they may once again be found and one day be put on display. Through the time I have had so far with the Bob Hope Collection I have learned so much about archival work and grown to admire Mr. Bob Hope and his century of history.

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