Internship Provides Real-Life Experience Creating Exhibits

Amanda Rigsby's internship project focused on Alice Howell, a drama professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the early 20th century.
Amanda Rigsby's internship project focused on Alice Howell, a drama professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the early 20th century.

The Schmidt Family Library Internship for the Archives & Special Collections, funded by Navy Captain Raymond Schmidt (NU 1958) and his wife Roberta Schmidt, focuses on creating opportunities for students to grow a deeper understanding of archival research, while developing an exhibit for the public, and communicating the importance of archival work as a whole. The internship is open to students in any major at junior level and above.

“We are so grateful to the Schmidt Family for the creation of this internship and we are excited to foster the passion for history in many more students as well as inform the public about our collections,” said Traci Robison Assistant Professor of Practice and Outreach Archivist who coordinates the internship and supervises the interns.

Robison has worked with three interns since the internship was established in 2020. The students picked from a list of topics Robison provided and worked with various collections creating online exhibitions for the Archives & Special Collections. The three digital exhibits created from this internship are on women’s suffrage, Alice Howell, and the Women’s Center.

“The interns take the topic and delve deeper into the collections of the Archives,” explained Robison, “They use both secondary sources and primary sources to support the content of their exhibits.”

The student interns also used WordPress and metadata to create each unique exhibit from the ground up and discovered the value of revision and patience.

“The students conveyed to me that when they write a paper for their professor, they might edit once,” noted Robison, “They were surprised by how many rounds of revisions and editing they had to do before something can be published for the general public.”

Amanda Rigsby, one of the former interns who graduated in 2021, had the opportunity to work within the Schmidt Family Internship during the summer of 2021. Rigsby worked with Robison to put together the Alice Howell Exhibition.

“As a graphic design major, this internship gave me real-life experience creating and designing a website,” said Rigsby, “This experience led me to a new passion and a new interest in exhibition design as a career path.”
Rigsby now works at Light and Wonder in Chicago as an Associate Game Archivist and plans to go back to school and get a degree in museum design. Rigsby is grateful for this internship and the experience it gave her to “find the materials needed for the project and being able to have a role in the web design.”

The Schmidt Family Internship will continue to bring new light to historical topics and people in the University Archives, as well as grow students’ understanding of the importance of primary documents and research.
“Public history is very important, without funding and interest, history becomes lost,” Rigsby says, and thanks the Schmidt family for the great opportunity.

To see all the amazing exhibits that the interns created, please visit

-Brynna Shaffer, Peer Guide, Libraries Communication