Museum internship in Great Britain brings valuable experience to Emma Lemke ’19

Emma Lemke '19

An internship at the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum in Great Britain helped solidify career goals for Emma Lemke ’19 of Hilbert, Wisconsin.

At Ripon, Lemke majored in global studies and history. She then studied cultural heritage and museum studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Norfolk, Great Britain. She also interned at the Royal Norfolk museum where she did a retrospective documentation project on its map collection.

“Basically, I analyzed and researched each map within the collection to ensure accurate information data input and to make sure that the map was already in the database,” Lemke says. “The goal of this project was to provide intellectual access for the public and to update the collections for easier access to the collections management team.”

The internship was supposed to last a year, but the COVID-19 pandemic cut the internship short. Still, Lemke found, she gained a lot out of the experience because she worked hands-on with different artifacts and learned how to properly analyze and research them. “I also was able to see how collections are managed, both in object handling/documentation and in terms of staffing supervision, at least directed by the (museum),” she says. “I also grew to really appreciate maps and learn a lot about the history, production, usage and conservation of many different types of maps.”

This opportunity was part of Lemke’s Museum and Heritage Practice program at the University of East Anglia, where all the students are aided in obtaining an internship at a museum in the Norfolk Museums Service. Lemke recommends that students interested in museum studies should look for programs that include work experience. She says this helped her to realize what she would like to do in museums in the future. She now further appreciates the hard work and research done by archivists and collection workers.

She also is interested in working with programming and interpreting artifacts within a museum’s collections to make them more accessible to the public and students.

Zoe Hazel ’22
Friendship, Wisconsin