Intern Highlight: Fatimah Bouri

Posted May 14, 2024 in General

Intern Highlight: Fatimah Bouri

I enjoyed my time at the Moravian Archives. As a library intern, I enjoyed the independence I got from completing my project. My project involved deaccessioning books and entering data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This process included writing down pertinent information from each book and stamping them before organizing the books in boxes to be donated or recycled. My supervisors were helpful, kind, and patient with me, and I could always turn to them whenever I had a concern or a scheduling conflict. They checked on me regularly to make sure I was doing alright or if I needed help with anything. They also accommodate my work style and how I catalog the books. They have been so understanding, and I genuinely appreciate that.

I learned a lot about the deaccessioning process and the patience required to do the task. I learned about older texts with fonts that are harder to read and how to find information from books and manuscripts in different languages. I especially enjoyed going at my own pace with deaccessioning these books, and I’m glad my position allowed me to figure out more about how I liked to work and how I want to do that work. My project itself wasn’t challenging, but completing the job at times was difficult because of the repeated nature of the task. Sometimes, it would cause me to lose interest, but I usually navigated this by stepping outside for a few minutes and mentally resetting before entering the vault again. This would help me regain motivation and keep me on task. I know my project helps the Archives since I am clearing shelves that can be used for relevant documents for the vault, so I take pride in what I do. I think my position as a library intern will be helpful if I apply for a position involving data entry or organization. If I want to go into library studies, I can apply what I learned from my library intern experience at the Archives.

I have encountered different fascinating artifacts during my project; for instance, I came across several 19th-century Native American narratives and origin stories written from various perspectives. The books chronicle indigenous peoples and their encounters with settlers and Christianity; more specifically, I found an astonishing amount of books about the Lenape/Delaware people since their history and encounters are extremely local, and many archive books revolve around the history of the Lehigh Valley. What I found in these books is fascinating because people put mementos, handwritten letters, and little trinkets. As I reflect on my experiences as the semester winds down, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing preservation, and I still appreciate the work that needs to be done. This experience has helped me contextualize the work that archivists do, and I hope I can also apply my newfound skills and knowledge to my remaining semester at Moravian University.