The Department of History provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the historical forces that have shaped the world’s civilizations. Studying history helps one to develop a critical perspective on the world and to understand how one’s own identity and culture relate to those of others. The Department particularly prides itself on the diversity of its course offerings, its emphasis on faculty and student research, and the opportunities it offers for students to engage in internships and fellowships in the Memphis community.
No matter what vocation a student chooses after graduation, historical study helps one to comprehend and contextualize the problems of contemporary society, while also enhancing one’s research, writing, and presentation skills.]
Regan Adolph - A Passion for Public History
Regan Adolph ’16 loves public history. Growing up on and around sugarcane farms in South Louisiana instilled in her a deep affection for the history of American South and a passion for preserving the artifacts and documents that have survived.
“I still remember how excited I was to visit plantations and museums around the state when I was younger, and that excitement has grown exponentially in Memphis,” she writes.
Regan is quick to praise the Department of History at Rhodes for the opportunities that it has provided in the area of public history. After having an Archival Studies Fellowship at the Memphis Public Library during the summer of 2013, this semester Regan enrolled in History 360 - Public History. Students in the course learn about the theory of public history, while doing an internship in a local museum, archive, or preservation organization. Regan is currently interning at The Blues Foundation, as she helps the organization build a new blues museum in Memphis. The “theory and practice” elements of the class provide students like Regan with preparation for further exploration and study in the field.
This summer Regan will pursue another challenge when she takes an internship at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. As self-motivated lover of all things related to museums and archives, Regan got the position on her own.
She explains: “I contacted the Director of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and expressed interest in spending the summer at their archives in College Station, Texas. I informed him of my previous experience working in the Memphis archives as well as my passion for public history both in and out of the archival setting. My information was forwarded to the supervisory archivist, who then officially offered me a summer of learning, working, and expanding my knowledge of a government archives through an archival internship. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to spending my summer arranging, recording, and preserving the collections of the Bush Library. I may also be asked to assist with tours, exhibit projects, administrative support, and the cataloging of artifacts.”
Administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The Bush Library and Museum’s archives holds more than 40 million pages of official records and personal papers documenting the life of the forty-first President of the United States.
Regan should fit in just fine.