My name is Costantino Spinosa and I am a senior history major at St. John’s University. I have been interning at the Davis Library for four months. I chose to pursue an internship at the Davis Library Archives and Special Collections because I would like to pursue a career in public history. My experience thus far has involved research on insurance companies dating back to the 18th century and has introduced me to a sphere of history in which I had not previously known about. My research focused on multiple aspects of insurance companies throughout history such as emblems, damage repairs, and major people in the insurance industry.
I am currently working on a collection that is centered on a well-known person in the insurance industry in New York City during the 20th century: Arthur Cyrus Goerlich. Processing the collection has educated me in the steps that are taken in organizing archival collections. Perhaps the most important (and certainly time consuming) aspect of organizing a collection is going through materials and trying to find commonalities that may exist amongst a set of records (for example in the collection I am currently working on, I have divided the materials into sets of personal correspondence, press clippings, photos, etc). When the collection is organized, the next step is to prepare a finding aid that will outline the contents of the collection. The finding aid provides general information about the collection, as well as outlines how the collection has been organized; it is important that the finding aid is done properly in order to better assist researchers.
Items from the Arthur Cyrus Goerlic Papers, Davis Library Archives and Special Collections.