Welcome, Kari Thomas, Posner Curatorial Intern

CMU's copies of Shakespeare's First Folios, held in Special Collections

Please join us in welcoming Kari Thomas to the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries as the Posner Curatorial Intern. Kari is a third-year Ph.D. student in Dietrich College’s History Department.

We asked Kari, who uses she/her/hers pronouns, a few questions about herself and her plans for her new role.

Kari ThomasWhat are your goals for this year as our new Posner Curatorial Intern?
My number-one goal is mastering MARC codes and learning how to use the library’s cataloging software. As a historian, I am, of course, an avid catalog and finding aid user, but this is a chance to write metadata that could help future researchers. In a way, I’m paying it forward. And I get to see how the library sausage is made.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries?
Before joining the History program here at CMU, I worked in several museums as an educator. I was a Seasonal Park Guide for two summers at Independence National Historical Park. And I was an archival processing intern for the Alice Paul Institute. I have spent a lot of time in various collections doing research, writing educational programs, and even writing finding aids. But I’m excited to take on this position because I have never gotten to do the nuts-and-bolts work of managing a collection or an exhibit.

What projects are you excited to tackle in your first few months?
I can’t wait to dig into the collection and find some hidden gems to blog about. Not enough people know about CMU’s Special Collections. All of these rare books are a chance to hold history in your hand, and we have so many cool ones, especially in the history of science.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I am an outdoorsy person. My best friend and I are slowly section-hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I am an active member of the National Speleological Society. I am also a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) practitioner, which essentially means I swordfight with big swords but everything I know came from a 15th century fencing manual written in archaic German.