Another intern leaves the nest today! Kim Zarate, our Getty intern, ends yet another summer at VC. This summer, she worked tirelessly on several digitization projects for the archives. Kim recently graduated from UC Riverside and will be working in the collections department at the UCR/California Museum of Photography. We’ll miss you, Kim!
Hi, my name is Kim. I interned in the archives at Visual Communications this summer. I’m currently in the final days of my internship, wrapping up a few projects and tasks here in the Preservation department. Although I have previous experience with archives and collections, working in the Visual Communications archives was a unique experience not only because of the scope of its contents, but also what I learned during my time here.
This summer, my main project focused on digitizing and processing the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Redress collection. This involved cleaning each ¾” U-matic tape, viewing the footage in real time and checking for quality – all while taking extensive notes of the tape’s content, condition and resulting digital video file. After access DVD copies of the footage are made (to prevent wear on the original tapes), all materials must be cataloged.
The JACL Redress collection contains oral histories and interviews with those involved in the redress and reparations campaign for Japanese Americans interned during World War II. In their interviews, both politicians and community members shared powerful and moving personal experiences that fueled their support for the campaign and the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Several people stated that possible monetary compensation did not motivate their involvement with the campaign; rather, they believed in ensuring that no one would never have to endure the injustices experienced by the interned Japanese Americans.
In addition to my work in the Preservation department, I collaborated with the summer interns from other departments to produce a set of videos for Youth Inspired, a short web series that showcases the talents and passions of young media artists and local community leaders who work with and inspire youth. When the interns discussed who to feature in the series, I became impressed by how these leaders’ ability to bring changes to their communities stemmed from their collaborative efforts with others. As we conducted the interviews, each person expressed that they hope to empower youth to learn about and become active contributors to their communities.
This sense of passing on a focus on community and an understanding of history struck me the most and became a recurring theme of the various projects I worked on during my time here. Working with Visual Communications’ archives revealed to me a deeply intertwined, richly textured, and endlessly complex Asian Pacific American history that encompasses my experiences as well those of others whose stories extend beyond my own. To have a hand in processing archives – in ensuring that this knowledge is carefully preserved and can be shared with future generations as it has been shared with me – is the most personally rewarding and makes intensive archival processes worth it.
I want to thank Visual Communications for giving me the opportunity to work with them this summer. I not only learned how to process and digitize moving images, but I came to appreciate even more the close bond between history and community.