Author: Tenesha King, Lab Intern
My name is Tenesha King, and in summer 2023 I was an intern at the Queen’s Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab located in Greenville, North Carolina. I earned the opportunity to intern with QAR through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which hosts programs like the HBCU/MIHE Internship for college students such as me. I am currently a student at Fayetteville State University working on my bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in Geospatial Science. As a history buff, I enjoy learning all I can about history, culture, and native traditions. When I was contacted by the QAR staff regarding an internship working in their conservation lab, I eagerly jumped for the opportunity.
I have always been fascinated by historical artifacts. One of my many pastime hobbies is exploring museums. My love for museums was the reason I wanted to become an Archivist. When not reading books about history, I volunteer my time as an Archivist at my university. So, getting to work with the QAR staff was a dream come true. During my time at the lab, I learned conservation techniques such as monitoring solutions to track desalination and treatment progress on everything from organic materials to metals. I learned to properly handle and document fragile maritime artifacts from the excavation site, entering information into the lab database, including the artifacts’ description, current location, measurements, identification, and solution monitoring data. I also assisted in professionally photographing artifacts and digitizing photographs for record keeping purposes and to improve public access.
I enjoyed every moment with the QAR Staff and with learning the dos and don’ts of handling artifacts. I loved working behind the scenes with the collection and the staff. I not only learned to adore historical artifacts, but I learned all the hard work and dedication required to maintain a collection like this, giving me a new appreciation for conservation and the preservation of all historical artifacts.
Lab Intern Tenesha. Image by Tenesha King, used with permission.
Terry, Tenesha, Elise, and Besty (Left to Right) handling timbers following treatment. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.