Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This blog is being created to share my experience and what I've learned while interning with the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Public Library this summer. I am a senior at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. I am a speech communications major specializing in public relations and minoring in marketing. I was given the opportunity to be a PR intern for the summer and help reopen the Milwaukee Road Archives, which is planned for January 2010. I am only in my 3rd week and will work until August. So far I have helped with the railraod drawings, which I am told there is about 35,000 (WOW!). For those who haven't had a chance to take a look at some they are truely interesting. Most of the drawings are from the late 1800's and early 1900's. Some are the original drawings while other have had to be reprinted due to their condition. It is also interesting to see blueprints of the trains and depots and then see them in true form, its amazing how accurate the drawings and real thing is. A lot of these drawings have been handeled by Nicole Johnson, a contract archivist and graduate student at UWM. She began the project in January and has gotten so far in such a short time and she really has done such a great job. The Milwaukee Road Archives also has wonderful volunteers and employees working hard on the re-organization. I am lucky to have a small amount of knowledge about The Milwaukee Road prior to my internship. I was given this opportunity due to my grandparents, Tom and Carolyn Helms (thanks!). They were once in charge of creating the MRHA calendars and are very active members of the MRHA. My grandpa was once vice president and now is preservation charmain. My grandma is the current secretary for the MHRA. Not only am I learning about The Milwaukee Road and MRHA, but also about what my family has done. I recently learned about my great grandparents work with The Milwaukee Road, my great grandmother was a secretary for about 11 years while my great grandpa was an engineer for about 43 years. For the rest of the summer I will be writing 4 articles to be published, press releases, a poster and brochure for Milwaukee Road Archives for conventions, and various small projects. Currently I am doing research to start writing my articles. I'm looking at books, calendars, and The Milwaukee Railroader to gain ideas and lots of extra knowledge. If anyone has an interesting story or idea's they would like to see in an articles I would love to hear it. For those who don't know the Milwaukee Road Archives is in need for volunteers and donations, without either the reopening date of January 2010 is unlikely. If you would like to donate time or money that would be great! You may contact Virginia Schwartz at the Milwaukee Public Library if interested. I hope the next couple months will be as interesting for others as is for me.

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