As the end of the summer draws close, the Oral History Project is winding down for the year. Interviews will still be conducted during the year as opportunities present themselves, but the bulk of work conducted by interns will be put on hold for next summer. To reiterate what I recently posted on the Dumbarton Oaks Interns’ Blog, I want to share the following thought–
For me, as an individual with no formal training (and very little informal training) in Byzantine, pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape Studies, being a part of this project has been extraordinarily informative. I find I have picked up much more information at Dumbarton Oaks through osmosis than I would have through casually reading a textbook. The concentration of knowledge and the commitment to scholastic excellence makes Dumbarton Oaks one of the most exciting places for someone with a curious mind to spend time, even if he or she does not have background in the areas that are studied here.
The job is never boring. Though some might think the study of ancient civilizations or gardens may be dry, many of the scholars showcase their sense of humor in the interviews. More than that, we have diversified from just interviewing and transcribing; we created a blog, did some entry-level archival processing [with the platform we worked on expected to go live in the fall], and even dabbled in some basic web editing. Bottom line: I have developed a respect for Dumbarton Oaks, its mission, and the people who work here far deeper than I would have expected before arriving here this summer. In the remaining time I have in Washington, I fully intend to make the most of the garden, the museum, and all the other things that Dumbarton Oaks has to offer, fully aware of how lucky I am to be here.
It has been a pleasure working at Dumbarton Oaks for the summer, and I would like to thank those who have been particularly influential in the project, namely James Carder and Jan Ziolkowski. Thanks is also extended to those who have taken the time to read more about the history of Dumbarton Oaks both here on the blog and on the Oral History website. Below are the individuals with whom we conducted interviews over the course of this summer. For copies of their interviews and for copies of all interviews posted online, be sure to check out the Dumbarton Oaks Oral History Website. See you next year!