Working at the RIAS gave me the chance to expand my skills and knowledge within a welcoming and professional environment.
While fulfilling my duties as intern at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies from July through September 2017, I especially enjoyed interacting with the visiting researchers. In the spare time that they allowed themselves in between their research, I found it very enlightening and entertaining to talk with each of them about their work. They provided me with invaluable insight into academic research through the different conversations we had.
Aside from the researchers that visited, there were also several student visits. It was a lot of fun to prepare and conduct these visits, as they were all quite different in nature. For the first visit, a small presentation about the Roosevelts and their Dutch origins was given to American students from the University of California in Berkeley. It was interesting to see American students learn about two prominent presidents in an abbey in Middelburg in the corner of the Netherlands, far removed from the home of both presidents, New York. Another visit was from history students from the University College Roosevelt, who had to work with the various primary sources available at the institute. Audio tapes of Eleanor Roosevelt as well as microfilm reels with varying subjects, ranging from FBI files to a journal published by a religious white supremacist group, were set up.
For most of these students it was their first time working with primary sources, and as a former history student I was glad I could be part of their introduction into an archive. After all, it is inevitable that history students will have to spend at least a few hours in an archive similar to this over the course of their studies.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone at the RIAS. Leontien, Cees, Dario, Giles and Damian, you made me feel very welcome and contributed greatly to the experience I gained while in Middelburg and I can’t thank you enough for this.