Acquiring Job Skills Through Special Collections and Archives Internships

By Francesca Marini, Miguel Garcia, and Victoria Hutcheson | 11-23-2021

A collage of five photos, showing, clockwise: student Victoria Hutcheson, student Miguel Garcia, a detail of a scrapbook by Irene “Mom” Claghorn, two bibliomystery novels in a display case, and the exterior of the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.
Clockwise: Victoria; Miguel; a detail of one of Irene “Mom” Claghorn’s scrapbooks; two bibliomystery novels on display; the exterior of the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. Photos by Victoria Hutcheson, Miguel Garcia, and Francesca Marini, April 2021.

For many years now, the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives has been offering internship and practicum opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, from Texas A&M University and other institutions. Dr. Francesca Marini coordinates the program. Students receive course credit and complete their internship or practicum over the course of one semester; some students have come back for a second time!

In this interview, Dr. Marini chats with Miguel Garcia and Victoria Hutcheson, Texas A&M Museum Studies interns in Spring Semester 2021. Miguel and Victoria worked on multiple projects, including presenting to campus student organizations, researching information and gathering images for social media posts, creating Tik Tok-style videos that highlighted the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at student orientation, and helping create a small exhibition on bibliomysteries, mystery fiction set in the world of books. If bibliomysteries interest you, you can read the book by Otto Penzler, housed in the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Bibliomysteries: An Annotated Bibliography (Cushing Library/Lit./Bibliomysteries/Call Number: Z1033.F53 P4 2014).


What were you hoping to achieve through the internship?

Victoria Hutcheson: I was hoping to acquire additional hands-on experience.

Miguel Garcia: I was hoping to get a better understanding of the archives and library field, to be confident in what I want to pursue after graduation.


What were your favorite projects?

Victoria Hutcheson: I liked working with the Marketing Department on the social media posts, especially the one on Irene “Mom” Claghorn that we created in March 2021, to honor Women’s History Month. I was able to use the knowledge I developed through a paper I once wrote for a class. Irene “Mom” Claghorn came to Texas A&M as a widowed army nurse after WW1, and students affectionately called her “Mom” for the love and care they received. Claghron detailed her time at A&M through scrapbooks, which are housed in the Cushing Library.

Miguel Garcia: I also enjoyed working on the social media posts, as well as working on selecting, mounting, and installing the books for the Bibliomysteries display. Setting up the display case was fun, and it was so interesting to learn how to properly handle and mount books.


How do you think this internship experience will help you in your career?

Victoria Hutcheson: Working on the social media posts further enhanced my research skills. I loved proposing ideas to the Marketing department, doing the research, and seeing the posts come to life. Our posts received a high number of likes! It was really helpful to learn how to work on special collections and archives marketing, and how to communicate effectively with another department. Working well with others and being knowledgeable about marketing are great skills to have.

Miguel Garcia: I enjoyed working as part of a professional team, proposing ideas, and conducting research for the social media posts. These are helpful and transferable skills.


Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Victoria Hutcheson: I enjoyed every aspect of the internship, and it was super fun!

Miguel Garcia: Special collections and archives interested me, but I initially did not know a lot about them, and specifically about the Cushing Library. It was great to take the plunge and become more knowledgeable about an environment that interested me. I also enjoyed conveying my knowledge to campus organizations through the presentations we gave about the Cushing Library.


Student interns do great work at the Cushing Library, and we are grateful to Victoria and Miguel for everything they did! If you are interested in an internship or practicum, please contact Dr. Marini at


Tags: Archives; Bibliomysteries; Cushing Memorial Library and Archives; Internships; Irene “Mom” Claghorn; Job Skills; Special Collections. 

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives Collections: Literature/Bibliomysteries; University Archives/Irene “Mom” Claghorn Scrapbook Collection.

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Miguel Garcia

Miguel Garcia is a member of the Texas A&M class of 2021. He majored in Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies. Miguel interned for Cushing Memorial Library and Archives in his last semester; his time there ignited his desire to pursue a career in archives and special collections. Miguel will continue to pursue work in the archival world, with plans to attend graduate school for a degree in Library Science.

Victoria Hutcheson

Victoria Hutcheson is a proud member of TAMU Class of 2021 and Majored in History and Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies. Graduate school is next, studying Museum Studies and Heritage Management. Cushing Library served as a wonderful place for her to intern in her final semester at A&M. During her time at A&M, she pursued many internships with various museums and programs throughout Texas, with hopes of becoming a museum curator in the future.


Dr. Francesca Marini Marini is Associate Professor, Programming and Outreach Librarian, and Coordinator of the Internship and Practicum Program at the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. She is the editor of The Cushing Collective.