Owen Bennett ’24 — First, I would like to thank the staff of the Carnegie Museum, General Lew Wallace Study, The Lane Place, and our great Career Services Team for making this internship possible. Most importantly, I would like to thank the WLAIP Program for funding my summer internship. If it weren’t for both the WLAIP Program and our amazing Career Services Team, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this fantastic internship.
My summer internship is unique, due to it taking place at three different local museums in Crawfordsville. My weeks consist of two days at the Carnegie Museum and one day a piece at the General Lew Wallace Study and Henry S. Lane Place. During my time at each location, I have learned a lot about Montgomery County’s impact on American History, from the 1800s through the 21st century. Throughout my internship, I have taken on multiple tasks such as curation, research, and working to make local recorded history (via DVD, CD, VHS) more available to the public.
At the Carnegie Museum, my project is to research the railroads of Montgomery County. I will present the information I gather at a railroad expo on August 14 at the Linden Depot. I will also showcase the information I have accumulated over the summer in a railroad exhibit that will take place in September or October at the Carnegie Museum. During my time at the Carnegie Museum, I have learned how to conduct professional research and curate an exhibit at a museum.
At the General Lew Wallace Study, I have spent my time researching Lew Wallace’s career as a lawyer while also giving tours of the study. Though exploring Lew Wallace’s law career is my main project, I am researching a pair of carriage lanterns currently located in the basement of the study. The lanterns supposedly belonged to Lew Wallace; however, it is unsure if the lanterns belonged to the General due to a lack of evidence. During my time at the study, I
have learned how to conduct professional research and maintain professional conduct when contacting other museums or experts in a given field.
At Henry S. Lane Place, my project is to digitize a series of veteran oral histories recorded in the 1990s and early 2000s on VHS tape and DVD. The goal is to make the videos accessible to the public, so everyone has a chance to hear the rich history of our veterans in Montgomery County. While working on this project, I also give tours of the historic antebellum home built in 1845 by Civil War Senator Henry S. Lane. I also am glad to have the opportunity to actively participate with the Montgomery Historical Society, which is based out of Lane Place.
Over the summer, I have enjoyed working alongside the staff at each of the museums. I enjoy having the opportunity to teach people the rich history of Montgomery County. If it weren’t for the WLAIP program and our great Career Services Team, I would not have got the opportunity to conduct hands-on research at some of my favorite museums