“My advice to other students is don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you. Get out and ask professors to help and when an opportunity comes along — take it.”
That’s exactly what Kendall Mulligan ‘12 did when Professor Donald McColl recommended her, through his academic contacts, last summer for an internship at the J. Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
Working in the library’s digitization department and learning to use cutting-edge technology for scanning and archiving books, the art history major with a French minor was the first student outside Brown University to intern at the library.
“I loved being in Providence; the area was great for college life and I worked closely with the digitization department. As an intern, I became immersed in projects right away — my supervisors didn’t hang over me.”
Diving into the Haitian project, she handled rare books and was put in charge of “Pick Lists” to research bibliographical material, accession numbers and metrics, with the goal of digitizing the collection for access online. Many of the books were in French, allowing Kendall to test her language skills.
Moving to the Peruvian project, she says, “My favorite part was handling the first copy of the first book ever printed in Peru — it was leather bound with a golden seal.” Then the ultimate honor: reading John Carter Brown’s original hand-written log of his books.
“Archiving and restoration is the most interesting part of art history. It really broadened my interest to a more global scale.”
Her dream job? Working for the FBI in art fraud. “It’s a very small department in the U.S., but discovering how people hide art is fascinating.”
In the meantime, Kendall is captain of the women’s crew team, a Student Athlete Mentor, National Scholar Athlete for the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association and member of the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Academic Honor Roll. She is President of Pi Delta Phi (French Honor Society), active in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and selected for the Cater Society for Junior Fellows.