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Museums and History: A Student's Perspective

My name is Taylor Akers and I am currently a senior here at the University of Lynchburg. I am a History major and Museum Studies minor and have been working at Historic Sandusky since I transferred to U of L in 2021. When I first started working here I was working with transcribing letters from the Hutter family that used to live at Sandusky. Eventually I graduated to working with artifacts but quickly realized that I much preferred working with historic documents rather than the actual items that were found on the property. I discovered that by working with documents I learned a lot more about the individuals and their lives, giving character to the historic figures that called Sandusky home.  Since then I have transcribed a large portion of the deeds and indentures that relate to Sandusky, starting from the Johnston period all the way to the Hutter period. I have also done some research work revolving around Harriet Hutter’s side of the family, which includes William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Within the last semester I have been working on sorting through some of our documents and letters to see if they have already been transcribed or if they still need to be transcribed. 

I also work at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. I was hired in 2022 and due to school my time there has been mainly limited to mostly weekends and special events during the school year. However, I have been lucky enough to earn the position of assistant site manager. Receiving this role was entirely unexpected, considering that I was still in school. Yet I gladly accepted it and it has allowed my knowledge of museums to increase even more. Being site manager means that I am responsible for ensuring that everything on the property is running smoothly. This includes not just the site but the workers and volunteers too. The position has allowed me to learn more about the way that museums and historic sites operate overall and that they involve more business work than a person might originally think. 


Lastly, in January I started volunteering at the South River Quaker Meeting House here in Lynchburg, Virginia. There I have been giving tours and informing the public about the Quaker beginnings of the town. Along with that, my current museum studies class has been working on an exhibition that will eventually take place within the Meeting House space.


Overall, my experience here at University of Lynchburg and Historic Sandusky has allowed me to branch out and do things that will hopefully aid me in my future career choices. I have been incredibly fortunate to experience all of these things that relate to my love of history in such a short amount of time. 



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