"Over the past weeks, I’ve worked closely with Brigette Kamsler on learning archival theory and getting some hands-on experience with processing parts of the collection. Thanks to Brigette’s guidance, I’ve gotten a terrific range of experiences and insights in just a few short weeks. I have worked on updating finding aids, processing archival material, researching historical contexts, digital preservation, and even administrative issues like pest management. Articles Brigette gave me to read and discuss helped me understand the rationale behind the tasks I have been learning to do." -Elizabeth Willse, "Last Day at the Burke," August 27, 2014
"I can’t express to you how great this internship has been! I’ve learned the entire archival process, from acquisition to finding aid promotion. I’ve seen great material that paints a picture of the world the missionaries encountered. And I’ve worked with the amazing staff at the Burke Library. Brigette, the project archivist, was an outstanding teacher and mentor. From the very beginning she made sure I knew what we were working on and why. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the collection, knowing where everything is and how the entire collection is connected." -Sarah Davis, "Saying Goodbye to Burke...For Now," August 1, 2014
"I loved that I was able to work flexibly at my own pace, and that the work progressed steadily on a project-by-project basis. My amazing manager Brigette Kamsler, who is both a mentor and a friend, always trusted me to see each of my collections through to completion, and I loved the elated sense of satisfaction I got every time..." -Kristen Leigh Southworth, "Why Coming to Seminary...," December 24, 2013
"My supervisor, Brigette always made sure I understood how every task fitted into the larger goals of the institution and related what I learned to library administration. These were real issues that library and archive professionals had to face and it was important for me to learn about them... I am very grateful for the Burke staff and the time they have taken to teach me new things. I am particularly grateful for my supervisor, Brigette Kamsler, who, in addition to teaching me about archives took the time to teach me practical skills for my job search." -Rossy Mendez, "A Happy Ending: Last Days at Burke," December 23, 2013
"Upon receiving work-study as a second semester, first year M.A. student in April, I had no idea that working at the Burke Library would not only be a learning opportunity, but also an adventure... I must say that my experience in archives working with Brigette... since May has been one of theological enrichment, intrigue, and endless knowledge. I was astonished to see with my own eyes, and touch with my own hands the revolutionary history that Union Theological Seminary has taken part of since its early history and into the present time. From renowned scholars, activists, missionaries, church leaders, and committees, the archives contained in Burke’s catalog are so mind-blowing that it would take years to discover every bit of its caliber. As I worked with Brigette and her interns on processing and organizing the Missionary Research Library collection, I came across many documents that challenged my beliefs and views, but the fact that I got to see first-hand letters, photographs, pamphlets, and journal entries sparked a peculiar flame in me. How exciting it is to see specific individuals or groups of people that have created history which has directly influenced our work today.
The passion and love that each member of the Burke staff possesses is highly evident. It is commendable that while sorting through collections for... Brigette, [she is] able to not only guide and instruct me through what I am assigned to do, but the breadth of background knowledge they provide is remarkable. I am able to put what I am working on into context and luckily many of the people and cultures I have learned about happen to intersect with the subjects I am studying for my classes. It is also encouraging to know that the findings within certain collections that have not been uncovered for decades (due to many causes such as water damage, controversial findings, etc.) are not completely tossed into obscurity or carelessly thrown away. Many rediscovered documents and reports are necessary for scholarship today and it says a lot about the value of a theological education. I look forward to finishing my last year as a seminary graduate student under the care of the Burke library community and its caring staff!" -Olivia Minick, "A Learning Experience and Adventure," October 22, 2013
"Working with Brigette has been an invaluable experience; she truly wants her interns to have the best experience possible and always takes time to answer questions, teach new skills and discuss best practices and strategies for tackling challenging material. Not only did Brigette impart her knowledge of processing, she also took the time to discuss professional development with me and my fellow interns. Brigette encouraged us to utilize Web 2.0 technology to our advantage, and she showed us her online portfolio and gave us a tutorial on how to create one ourselves. Though I will miss coming to Burke twice a week and working with Brigette and my fellow interns, I am grateful for the experience and the knowledge I have gained from the opportunity." -Virginia Pastor, "Final Thoughts on My Last Day at Burke," August 23, 2013
"Under the guidance of powerhouse Project Archivist Brigette C. Kamsler... My internship at Burke included the expected tasks of a summer archives intern. I moved boxes, stamped folders, weeded unprocessed collections and kept my eyes peeled for crawling creepy critters (none appeared, thank goodness!). But it was so much more. I could never have imagined I would come away from this three month stint with so much experience, insight and awareness of how much I still must learn... How fortunate I took a chance and said, “What have I got to loose?!” to the possibility of working at Burke. How fortunate to have worked with Brigette. How fortunate indeed!" -Jazmin Mooney, "Good-bye to My Summer at Burke," August 22, 2013
"Working under the tutelage of Brigette Kamsler I have been exposed to and gained hands on experience in the wild and often times dusty world of a working archive... Brigette is an incredible manager and the time she takes to educate and include her bevy of interns in the multitudinous tasks her position as the Luce Grant Project Archivist at the Burke Archive entails was not lost on me. I was introduced through practice and readings to best practices in the field of archiving. More Product, Less Process became a mantra for my summer of 2013. In addition to helping with the work at hand, Brigette made sure to take the time to discuss future career options, job search techniques and the like. She showed myself and fellow interns her online portfolio, encouraged us to make ones for ourselves and discussed best practices in employing social media for future career success. I really cannot say how grateful I am for all the knowledge she imparted to me this summer... I know I will carry not only the work place skills I have learned and been exposed to but also the intangible benefits from having worked under so skilled a manager and mentor as Brigette." -Elizabeth Beller, "Last Day…Final Words…", August 7, 2013
"My nerves in the beginning of the internship were, as one could say, on edge, but I quickly learned that my experience with Brigette at the Burke Library would be an overwhelmingly positive one...My internship at the Burke Library has been an amazing experience. I feel that I have received a fantastic education from Brigette about the profession of archiving." -Jessica Patterson, "An Educational Experience at Burke," August 2, 2013
"Brigette was one of the greatest mentors I have encountered in my Graduate career. She is well organized and gives you readings that help prepare you and give you a better understanding of Archiving. Brigette’s presence has been comforting and encouraging. I never thought that in my short time here (once a week for a little less than a semester) that I’d be able to go through two collections. I was able to take my time with these two collections and get a proper plan in order for each. Brigette and I talked today about the “More Product, Less Process” concept. I think it’s incredibly valuable to be able to start learning about archives by going through more processing and less product. I am incredibly thankful to Brigette and the Burke for giving me this opportunity. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling once you complete a collection... It was incredibly helpful to have Brigette around. I was able to ask for advice and to go over my thought process for the new organization of the collection. Talking through my plan and my ideas for the categories with Brigette was a great resource..." -Fatoma Rad, "Last Day at the Burke," May 20, 2013
"My final paper for my Practicum focuses on the need for constructionist and constructivist based learning as a way to engage students more actively in the learning process. Both methods encourage students to actively interact and create within and with the physical world rather than passively receiving knowledge; however constructionism additionally requires the production of a tangible object in the final outcome. Learning becomes more than knowledge acquisition and becomes a process of identity formation and empowerment. Mentors, supervisors, and teachers who use these approaches make it easier for students to see their work not only as personally enriching but also of value to the community they are serving. As such, new knowledge is not only more effectively embedded in the students mind, but the students become embedded in the community they serve.
I’m only using this high flung academic-speak to illustrate that Brigette uses these approaches to teaching archival practice and processing. I did not just create finding aids, but I made them available online increasing access, spoke about their relevance in various blog entries, posted information regarding the new collections on Twitter and Facebook, I was even informed one of the collections was given to me because a user had requested the material and the library wanted to accommodate the request in a timely manner. I did not just learn archival theory or just the do’s and don’ts of archival processing, but I created a tangible object that tied me to a community of archivists and archives users. Eventually I began to describe myself as an archivist when asked what I do. I am no longer just a library graduate student, but because of what I was able to accomplish I now identify with being an archivist. I no longer limit my job searches to special collections or museum libraries. It was great to see this teaching method in action and see the personal affect it had on me." -Bree Midavaine, "State Council of Churches and Wrap-Up," December 10, 2012
"Brigette … is one of the most supportive and easiest people to work with and I could not think of a better person to help teach and guide me as I learned to do this work. Brigette was an amazing site supervisor and I have learned so much from her, both in terms of my skills as an archivist and the job market at large. I honestly could not have asked for a better internship than I had here." -Rebecca Weintraub, Internship Reflection Paper, December 2012
"For someone wondering whether or not to intern at Burke, here are a few reasons why you should do it. First and foremost, Brigette, the Project Archivist and my internship supervisor, is an absolutely fantastic mentor. She has a unique way of combining flawless professionalism with warm guidance and encouragement. I was immediately impressed with how organized and prepared she was at my interview; never before had I had an interviewer answer so many of the questions I’d prepared before I even got to ask them. Brigette’s amazing guidance continued on my first day when she gave me a stack of background readings that constituted a crash course in the most essential knowledge to begin processing archival collections, including readings on both the nuts and bolts of processing and what it means to be an archivist on a more philosophical level. I’m drawn to both the hands-on work of processing and the greater calling of archivists to be activists and advocates of their profession in addition to being stewards of their collections, so I ate this up.
Last but not least, the experience you get working with Brigette at the Burke Library Archives is invaluable. After gaining firm grounding in the space and basic knowledge of archives processing, I was entrusted with processing a few small collections. Brigette’s guidance was absolutely essential to begin with, and I was grateful to have the feeling that I was able to ask any question at any time." -Leanora Lange, "The Beginning of a Beautiful Career: Interning at the Burke Library Archives," October 5, 2012
"I worked closely with Brigette for several years at the Historical Society of Frederick County. During that period she led the transformation of the Archives and Research Center to a professionally managed and customer-service oriented facility. Her knowledge and skills were a tremendous asset to the organization and the community, and her initiative and personality were the catalysts for a number of successful new projects and partnerships. Her archival and management skills are top-notch, fostered by her eagerness to continue to learn and grow professionally. Her collaborative and focused style is a positive force for colleagues, interns, volunteers, donors, and patrons." September 24, 2014 -Duane Doxzen, Director of Development & Communications at Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, managed Brigette indirectly at The Historical Society of Frederick County
"Brigette was an exceptional supervisor. I am eternally grateful for that I learned from her during my internship at the Burke Library Archives. Brigette not only shared her knowledge of processing archival records but she also provided additional resources that put into context the work that I was doing. Even though she was my supervisor she valued my input and empowered me to make decisions about the collections I processed. I also appreciated that she went beyond archival training and showed me how I could prepare myself for the job market.
I can tell from working with her that she is passionate about archives and that she strives to increase her knowledge about the field. She is a pleasure to work with." December 27, 2013 -Rossy Mendez, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
"Brigette is a driven, detail oriented and incredibly focused. I found my time with her this past summer to have been invaluable. As a supervisor she was superb providing me with both theoretical and practical training in archives. In regards to her willingness to teach her method of personal branding and professional outreach she went well above and beyond anything I have encountered in my many many internships thus far. I have nothing but the highest praises for Brigette, the work she does for the field of archives and the extra work she does as a mentor and ambassador for archivists and librarianship." November 26, 2013 -Elizabeth Beller, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
"Working with Brigette was an incredibly rewarding and satisfying internship. Brigette helped me understand Archives by combining appropriate theories and reading material and hands on experience. Having no experience with Archives, Brigette helped me feel confident with the work I had to do through her guidance and feedback. Brigette knows how to help her interns and how to allow them to grow so that they can do the proper work on their own. I have a new appreciation and understanding of Archives all thanks to Brigette. Anyone who wants to learn more about Archives, I would highly recommend interning with Brigette!" July 10, 2013 -Fatoma Rad, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
"I enjoyed working with Brigette at the Burke. She is detail oriented and highly organized especially when it comes to teaching her craft. I went into this internship not knowing very much about describing archival collection in a practical sense, but I came out of it confident in my abilities to excel at it. This is no small measure due to the way in which Brigette organizes the interns and their projects under her supervision. I would highly recommend that if students have the chance to apply for internship at the Burke that they jump at the chance. What you learn there through Brigette will compliment and extend what you have learned theoretically through classes." January 1, 2013 -BreeAnn Midavaine, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
"Brigette was a wonderful intern supervisor. She knows exactly what she wants and expects from all of her interns, but doesn't look over their shoulders or micromanage them to make sure everything is being done just so. She put enough trust in me to ask questions when needed -- knowing I had her one desk away to ask questions gave me the freedom to make my own choices and have the security of a more experienced professional at the same time. Should anyone get the opportunity to work with Brigette, I would wholeheartedly recommend it!" December 24, 2012 -Rebecca A. Weintraub, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
“Brigette combines flawless professionalism with warm guidance and encouragement. She not only was sensitive and creative enough as a supervisor to offer me projects that built on my existing skills and interests (e.g. for my archives processing internship, she let me use my German abilities to translate a collection), but also extremely supportive and approachable when teaching me new skills. She is one of the best mentors I've ever encountered in any of my work or study settings, and I recommend her unequivocally and without any reservation as an archivist and supervisor.” October 4, 2012 -Leanora Lange, Archives Processing Intern, Burke Library, Columbia University, reported to Brigette at Columbia University
“Brigette supervised my work while I was an intern at the HSFC Archive and Research Center. She was always kind and courteous with patrons, volunteers, and other interns. I always felt comfortable asking questions, and she always took time to answer them knowledgeably. During my time as an intern, I learned a great deal from her about archives and their inner workings. She also provided information about graduate school for archives, preservation, and records management, and encouraged me to apply to the University of Pittsburgh MLIS program, which I now attend. In addition to supervising my work at the archive, she also was a great source of information for a paper I was writing at the time on social justice in archives. She also took time out of her busy schedule to attend the presentation of my research. She was a wonderful supervisor, and if I ever have the chance to work with her again, I will definitely do so.” June 6, 2012 -Carley Altenburger, Intern, Archives and Research Center, Historical Society of Frederick County Maryland, reported to Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“My internship at the Historical Society of Frederick County was a truly enriching and invaluable experience for me. This was largely due to the fact that Brigette was an excellent supervisor and mentor. Brigette ensured my experience at the Historical Society would provide me with the necessary skills to continue to advance in my educational and career goals. While Brigette was always there to provide guidance to any question, she also gave me the freedom to feel like I truly owned my projects. It was wonderful to work with a supervisor who was supportive, trusting in my abilities, and invested in helping me succeed.” May 22, 2012 -Lisa Norton, Student, University of Maryland College Park, reported to Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“I had the pleasure of working with Brigette Kamsler when she was the Archivist and Research Center Coordinator at the Historical Society of Frederick County. While I was an intern there, Brigette showed a vast knowledge and dedication to archival care. She helped foster my interest in library and archival science, helping me to choose a career path in library science. She was a fantastic supervisor and I highly recommend her to any future employers.” May 22, 2012 -Rachel Seissler, Archive Intern, Historical Society of Frederick County, reported to Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“I worked as a volunteer with Brigette Kamsler during her tenure as Coordinator at the HSFC Research Center. When she took this position she immediately faced difficult challenges due to budget cuts and staff reductions. She responded by creating and implementing a successful plan to recruit new volunteers. She added many new volunteers due to her leadership skills and her ever pleasant and friendly manner of dealing with people. I know she can continue to meet new challenges and recommend her highly.” May 21, 2012 -John Reynolds, Independent Software Developer, ReynSoft.com, was with another company when working with Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“Brigette was my predecessor at the Historical Society of Frederick County, working as a solo archivist and supervisory librarian of the research center. From her list of experiences it's easy to see Brigette has a wide variety of skills and an in-depth understanding of the field's best practices, but it's impossible to glean her outstanding character through an online profile. Although Brigette left HSFC last summer, to this day she continues to contribute to the success of the research center by answering my questions, offering me guidance and advice in the archive world, and attending public programs the historical society offers. Prior to her leaving HSFC, Brigette wrote a detailed manual for her successor to use as a training guide, which included graphics, details for the continual processing of collections, and other institutional information that was very helpful to my understanding of the research center's policies and procedures. That she was able to carve out time between juggling the vast amount of responsibilities of the job to write the manual shows how much she cared about the research center. It's rare to find someone as dedicated to a past employer's institutional success as Brigette; she even continues to stay in contact with volunteers at HSFC, who adore her for the very reasons that compelled me to write this recommendation.” May 19, 2012 -Rebecca Crago, Research Center Coordinator, Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland, worked indirectly for Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“During my time working with Brigette, she always had a very professional attitude and put a lot of dedication into what she did. She was very helpful in providing information about the Frederick Keys archive selection at the Historical Society and was an integral part to their participation in our annual History Day at the stadium.” May 18, 2012 -Brandon Apter, Promotions Manager, Frederick Keys, was with another company when working with Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“It's safe to say I wouldn't be in the position I'm in today if not for my time at The HSFC. Brigette opened the archival-door for me by exposing me to professional projects, techniques, and materials. She served as a great career mentor, and was instrumental in my decision to pursue my MLIS. Not to mention, she was super fun to work with!” May 18, 2012 -Alex Toner, Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, reported to Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“Brigette is a terrific colleague, talented and dedicated to her work. She is organized and knowledgeable of archival care. As head of the museum department at HSFC we have successfully collaborated on both museum and library programs.” February 8, 2010 -Kelly McCartney, Curator, Historical Society of Frederick County, worked with Brigette at The Historical Society of Frederick County
“Brigette Kamsler is an excellent archivist and a wonderful person. Brigette worked as a student supervisor in Archives & Special Collections at Millersville University before attending the University of Pittsburgh's graduate program in archives. She has since returned to Millersville to talk to current students about graduate school and her work as an archivist. Her presentation was very helpful to our current students and was very well received. I am delighted to serve as a reference for Brigette.” March 10, 2010 -Marilyn McKinley Parrish, Special Collections Librarian & University Archivist, Associate Professor,, Millersville University, managed Brigette indirectly at Millersville University
“Brigette Kamsler was the best undergraduate intern at the Adams County Historical Society during my time at the society. Her comprehension and basic work place skills were excellent, and her attitude was always positive. I would highly recommend her to any potential employer.” February 4, 2010 -Michael Dressler, Collections Management Intern, Adams County Historical Society, managed Brigette at Adams County Historical Society
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