Joseph Phillips at the Foundation

As if living in Gettysburg and studying the Civil War 24/7 were not enough, having the opportunity to intern with the Gettysburg Foundation was an extra bonus.  The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit organization that partners with the Gettysburg National Park Service to restore and preserve the battlefield and to enhance the learning experience of visitors to Gettysburg.  Since high school I have been a card-carrying member of the organization, but I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to work behind the scenes at the Rupp House.

Home of the Gettysburg Foundation

At the Gettysburg Foundation I was an intern for the Operations Coordinator, Katie Porch.  My weekly tasks included some pretty basic office work-filing papers, organizing materials, and making copies-but I was also able to do some pretty unique things because of the timing of my internship with the Gettysburg Foundation: In April 2008 the new Museum and Visitor Center is scheduled to open, and the Gettysburg Foundation has been spearheading the planning and building of the new structure.  As a result, I had the great opportunity of witnessing the work involved in preparing a museum and was even able to have a look at the new visitor center and do some research for the displays.  To give an example, on some occasions I organized and took pictures of donated Civil War relics to be used in the new Cyclorama display while on other occasions I looked for pictures online from the Library of Congress and National Archives to be used in the displays of the new visitor center.

Joseph Phillips

I realize even now just how unique of an experience my internship was.  What other experience would have offered me the chance of standing inches away from Paul Philippoteaux's Cyclorama painting or of meeting with the renowned Civil War photography scholar William Frassanito to confirm museum displays?  I know that the experience of this internship will be of great help as I finish college and look to a career in Civil War history.