MU Archives Week 14

Sara Shields

Looking back on my internship with the Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives this semester, one of my favorite tasks was transcribing oral histories for the Center for Nursing History of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Being able to listen to the nurses’ experiences at Misericordia was very interesting! They had tons of fun stories that were entertaining to listen to, and they were also very informative about what Misericordia was like when they attended school here. From listening to them, I can see how much the university has grown over the past fifty years. It was amazing to hear about their experiences and compare them to mine, and other students today.

As I mentioned in a previous post, transcribing oral histories is very important. Accessibility is incredibly important in the field of public history as it allows us to reach broad audiences and distribute information easily. While transcription would get tiring at some times (pausing, rewinding, editing, etc.), I really enjoyed listening to the stories of former nurses who attended Misericordia, while also gaining experience and learning new skills.

MU Archives Week 2

Sara Shields

This week has been very interesting! I started transcribing oral histories for the Center for Nursing History of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I’m not very familiar with the field of nursing, but it’s interesting to listen to these interviews and hear about the history of the field and experiences from former nurses.

Transcribing oral histories are important for accessibility. For example, transcription makes oral histories available to those in your audience who may be hard of hearing and/or unable to hear. Accessibility plays a huge role in public history because you want to be able to get as much of your material to your audience as possible. This is also why metadata and finding aids are important; it allows materials to be easily accessible for your audience.

The oral histories that I have been working on this week include retired nurses reflecting on their time at Misericordia, the field of nursing itself, and how it’s changed. I think that their stories are incredible and very interesting to listen to. After going through photos from the collection last week, their stories provide a lot of context, especially to someone like me who is not very familiar with the field.

Along with the oral histories, Maureen has been giving me tips on how to read job listings, things to consider when looking at graduate schools, etc. These tips are incredibly helpful, seeing as though these things can come off as daunting when you first start looking for jobs and graduate programs.