My Story

My Story: Interning at the QAR Lab this Summer

Intern Michael shares his experiences interning at the lab this summer

Author: Michael Elwell, QAR Lab Intern

Intern Michael
Lab intern, Michael

My name is Michael Elwell, I am an intern at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation lab in Greenville through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural resources partnerships with HBCU’s/MIHE’s. I am originally from Durham, NC and am a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I graduated with a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing.

You may be asking yourself how a marketing major ended up interning at a conservation lab for the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Well, when I was growing up, I always had an interest in history, not just simple American and World history that they teach in school, but also history in the sense of storytelling. When I was a kid, my grandparents used to occasionally take me to museums in which one of my favorite things to do was explore old dinosaur fossils and pirate ship exhibits. Seeing the remains of old animals and technology always piqued my interest as a child, because it gave small glimpses of the ancient past. It opened my mind up to visualize all the endless possibilities of what could have happened back then.

Interns with cannon
Interns Michael and Kendall with a cannon

Prior to starting at the lab, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the experience by just looking at the short description. Honestly, I originally thought we would be going on and collecting items from the ship itself, until I learned that it been grounded and sunken since June 1718. However, even though we aren’t directly exploring the ship, there have been many intriguing experiences during my time here, and more to be had. It’s interesting seeing how old artifacts go through many long, vigorous processes before they are ready to be stored and transported for display. I was lucky enough to help out with post-treatment photography on 1-pound cannons that will be sent to the NC Maritime Museum at Beaufort this October. Some of the other daily tasks which I have learned how to do is solution testing, photographing other smaller objects after their treatment, processing photos, documenting and storing dry objects, and entering all the different procedures and tasks into the database.

Even though I didn’t know what to expect, I had fun working here this summer and hope to keep helping out in the future!

-Michael Elwell. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
-Assisting with cannon photography. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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