Reznik Completes Getty Research Institute Internship | Kent State University

Reznik Completes Getty Research Institute Internship

Kent State School of Library and Information Science student Anna Reznik of Austin, Texas, recently completed an unusual online-based internship with the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Calif.

The primary goal of her internship with the Getty Research Institute was to encode four finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Like many archives, according to Reznik, the Getty Research Institute has many finding aids in paper form that are not available digitally. These finding aids also had to comply with Describing Archives: A Content Standard and Online Archives of California consortium. Under the supervision of Manager of Special Collections Cataloging Kit Messick, Reznik used both an XML (Extensible Markup Language) editor and Archivists Toolkit to encode the finding aids.

“The biggest thing I got out of this internship is a great understanding of the ‘whats’ as well as the ‘whys’ of Encoded Archival Description,” Reznik said.

Reznik found the internship by posting on the Society of American Archivists Encoded Archival Description listserv asking for institutions holding remote internships. The Getty Research Institute happened to be one institution that was curious about the possibility of shifting some archives duty outside of the institution’s walls.

Before starting the internship, Reznik had taken several classes with SLIS Associate Professor Karen Gracy, Ph.D., and Lecturer Lori Lindberg, from both of whom she learned about XML, EAD, DACS and archival description.

“This knowledge was invaluable for this experience,” Reznik said. The biggest challenge she faced in her internship, she said, was figuring out XML documentation.

As a student in the Master of Library and Information Science degree program, Reznik was already accustomed to working in an online-based setting when she took the intern position with the Getty Research Institute. Reznik chose Kent State’s School of Library and Science because of the variety of classes and workshops the school offers, especially with archives, digital preservation and knowledge management. She also took into consideration the completely online nature of the program, which gave her the ability to volunteer, intern and work without having to change her schedule each semester.

While completing her internship, Reznik also balanced a full-time job as a library assistant with the Texas State Library Archives Commission, which made scheduling an on-site internship difficult.

“This internship helped me show my commitment to the archives field, and I had XML to show for my work,” Reznik said. “It also gave me a great background in the ‘whys’ of XML coding and authority files that I did not have before this experience. This experience helped me get a promotion earlier than I expected.”

Currently, Reznik now holds a position as an archivist with the Texas State Library Archives Commission. In that role, she processes state government records and encodes the finding aid into Encoded Archival Description while keeping Describing Archives: A Content Standards in mind. She also assists the reference staff in the archives reading room once a week.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from West Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts in Public History from Colorado State University. She completed her M.L.I.S. from Kent State University in December 2014 with a focus on digital preservation and archives.

Ideally, Reznik said her future involves staying in the archives field and assisting genealogists in finding appropriate resources.