Interning with the McEvoy Collection at CAS

By Kathleen Jenkins

As an intern at CAS, I have been granted many opportunities that have not only intensified my passion for archaeology, but have allowed me to have firsthand experience in the curation process. I willingly took on this position because I knew that an internship would help me develop the knowledge and skills that would be essential for future academic and occupational opportunities. Being a college student also makes me naturally indecisive, so I decided that interning would be the best way to determine my academic and career path. My decision to intern at CAS was the right decision for me.

Selected pieces from the McEvoy Collection on display at CAS for TAS 2014 Annual
Selected pieces from the McEvoy Collection on display at CAS for TAS 2014 Annual Meeting

My adventure began this past Fall, when I assumed the responsibility of properly housing and cataloging the McEvoy Collection, one of four collections of pre Columbian pottery donated to Texas State University by the Shiloh Museum in 1994. I started my work by slowly unpacking each piece, and documenting the weight on an Excel spreadsheet. Through this process I also corrected some minor errors within the spreadsheet and verified specific information about the pieces, such as their physical descriptions and measurements. When I was done inputting the information, I began applying new object id’s directly to the pottery, using paper labels applied with B-72 acryloid. This process would eventually lead me to change some more original content on the spreadsheet, so that we could upload this collection’s information into the center’s Past Perfect curation software -a task that surprisingly would be the hardest and most detailed of all. It required patience, and a great deal of detail. However, I did overcome the challenges of Past Perfect, and when that day came it was an exciting one.

For the next stage of my internship project, I have selected a few of my favorite pieces from the collection to be 3-D scanned for online display. I will be using a NextEingine 3-D scanner, which uses multiple lasers to capture all of the fine details. I am excited that the public will have access to the online collection, and that they will witness the beauty and archaeological significance of each piece. However, 3-D scanning is a long process, and like many other things it requires a lot of patience and time. I will be continuing the project through the spring 2015 semester, and am excited to have yet another valuable learning experience at CAS.

By being a part of this organization, I have been exposed to an enriching learning environment. It has provided me with excellent mentoring and teaching, which has allowed me to cultivate new skills. These skills and knowledge will be essential for my future career, and I am glad that I will be continuing my internship at CAS for the Spring 2015 semester.