VRA Foundation Announces 2021-2022 Internship Award Recipient

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 VRAF Internship Award in visual resources and image management. This award is being generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Andrew Weymouth, a graduate student in the University of Washington’s MLIS program, is the recipient of the VRA Foundation’s Internship Award. He will receive $3,000 to work a minimum of 200 hours on a project for the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room. Andrew’s work will involve the organization, description, and digitization of selected photographic negatives and prints from the vast Richards Photography Studio Collection, which was acquired by the library in 1989.  This collection, spanning 1917 through 1980, documents social and economic shifts in Washington State’s South Puget Sound region. The images depict a wide range of underrepresented Washington communities and significant local and national historic events, including the Puyallup Indian community and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The goal of this project is to digitize, describe, and provide free online public access to previously unseen, vulnerable materials that highlight the cultural diversity of this region and give expression to groups whose perspectives may not have been sufficiently recognized in the historical record. The project will contribute to the preservation of a vital visual resource for the city of Tacoma and Washington State, as well as provide insights into wider American historical movements through the lens of a single photographic studio that was continually active for over 60 years.

The Foundation felt that Andrew would be uniquely qualified to complete this important work for the Tacoma Public Library. With his background as a media archivist and his experience halfway through the Master of Library and Information Science program, Andrew has the necessary skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm to undertake this project to preserve and provide access to a remarkable collection, only a fraction of which has been digitized. Building upon his previous experience with oral history and digital archives projects in the state of Washington, Andrew is in a strong position to complete this internship successfully, attaining his professional goals in audiovisual archiving while contributing to a work of real cultural significance.

The Foundation is pleased to support the education and practical training of emerging professionals through this internship award. This year the VRAF Internship Award Committee received excellent applications for a variety of interesting and important projects which made the selection process difficult. The Internship Award Committee (Linda Callahan, Bonnie Rosenberg, Miriam Sappington, and Marcia Focht, Chair) appreciates the careful thought that went into every proposal. We are grateful to the Kress Foundation for its assistance and for recognizing the potential of this award to foster the next generation of visual resource professionals.

The VRAF Internship Award is part of the Foundation’s mission to advance awareness of important issues for effective digital information management (including intellectual property and copyright); encourage the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; and to facilitate workplace training. VRAF supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse, global audience. For more information about the Visual Resources Association Foundation, its mission and projects, as well as giving opportunities, please visit https://vrafoundation.org or read the latest issue of our annual report.