Sorting through the city’s past

by Rianna Weil

I am currently interning at the St. Augustine Historic Society and Research Library working in various subject areas. I began my internship archiving the St. Augustine city papers from 1820-1915. I went through various files including elections, patrol reports, and medical quarantines. Through this I was able to take a look into this city’s rich past, as well as get a glimpse of the archival process. My daily tasks included organizing the individual files by type of document, and then sorting them by date. After they were organized I wrote up a filing sheet for each folder and each document included in said folder. I am glad I got to experience this, and begin to work on new projects as well.

After finishing that project I moved on to transcribing oral histories. I recently began volunteering at the Castillo de San Marco National Monument in visitor services, so the oral histories I chose to work with are about the fort. I truly enjoy this project, as I get to learn about more of St. Augustine’s history in a new and interesting way. I have just begun, but am excited to see what other interesting oral histories there are to hear. The historic society is full of great resources, and I have just touched the surface.

I am halfway through my internship and have truly enjoyed the opportunities here. So far I have experienced multiple aspects of working in a research library, and I truly enjoy the different projects. Each document offers a glimpse into what made this city as great as it is. Many documents explain why certain streets have their names, or who prominent figures were throughout the years. Seeing this adds to my appreciation for this city I have now called home for the last 4 years. I look forward to working on various projects and getting a well-rounded experience in a research library.


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