The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Aft Engine Room of the Cassin Young
This week I spent some time with Resource Management. The
first day I received a sneak peak of what the annual inventory of collections
might entail. It seems like a game of hide and seek but I would never get to
hide. The inventory process sounded systematic at first, reading the location
of the item, finding the item, matching the catalog numbers, and recording the
item’s condition. Eventually, this information finds its way onto the Interior
Collections Management System. However, there were a couple of elusive items
that made for a bit of a patience building exercise. For instance, few clocks
became much more difficult to find on the Cassin Young then I would have ever
imagined. On the bright side, I thoroughly enjoyed crawling through hatches, to
get the aft engine room in search of the ship’s clocks. It is interesting to
think about how investigations into missing items depends upon the importance
of the item. Personally, I am glad I am not the one that has to make those
seemingly tough decisions. Although it may be something as simple as a missing
pencil, but what if it were one of the missing clocks? How much of an impact
has the clock made on today’s understanding of the way those aboard the Cassin
Young told time? Many questions would need to be asked and hopefully one would
be able to figure out the answers, making way towards a definitive answer for
the missing item.
Blue board (left) and ethafoam (right)
During my time with Resource Management, I was able to
help out with a preservation project that they have going on. Within the
collections holding area, the items are held on top of ethafoam. It is a foam
sheet that provides a bit of protection for the items as they sit on the
shelves. Over time, ethafoam starts to deteriorate. This was unforeseen as an
impending problem and has become an issue. The deterioration has made the
sheets useless for protecting the items. After being touched, the sheets turn
into a snow-like form upon touch. We spent a day replacing the ethafoam with
blue boards. These blue boards are consistent with a card board type of
substance. It provides support for the collections and will not deteriorate nearly
as quickly as the ethafoam has proven to.
Myself and the SCA Curatorial Intern
Overall, Resource Management involved care-taking for the
pieces of history that BNHP still has. I feel as though this division contains
a large amount of appreciation for this role of preservation. Many pieces of
America’s story can be told through these pieces of history and it was amazing
to be a part of its preservation.