My name is Olivia Herschel and I am a first year MA student in the Public History program. I was born and raised in High Point, North Carolina and went to East Carolina University (Go Pirates!). I received a BA in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology, and a minor in history. I have worked at three major archaeological sites: 1. A colonial site on the Cape Fear River, just south of Wilmington, NC- Brunswicktown 2. A Civil War cannon emplacement- Fort Anderson 3. And a slave kitchen just outside of Greenville, NC. After going on multiple archaeological digs, I quickly realized my love for material culture and history in general. Hence, I am now interested in pursuing conservation/preservation but am also keeping an open mind and seeing where my interests lead me. My interests also lie in African American History as well as the history of the sixties in America. While obtaining my undergraduate degree, I worked as a research assistant to East Carolina’s University Historian. I assisted him in researching the first African American physician, Dr. Andrew A. Best, to work in Greenville, North Carolina. After spending a little under a year analyzing newspaper articles, conducting interviews, and transcribing hundreds of documents and recordings I realized my excitement for uncovering and documenting important aspects of history. This project truly kick-started my love for history and led me to apply to graduate school. After researching prospective programs, I discovered public history was a perfect road to translate my broad and growing interests into a future career. Although I am still getting used to the “city life”, I have come to quickly fall in love with DC and the immense amount of history and opportunities it has to offer.
To be honest, this Digital History Methods course terrifies me. I have had little interest in technology/ media, and I exude subpar technological skills (shocking for a millennial, I know). However, I know that this knowledge is imperative, even mandatory, to my future career. Therefore, I am dedicated to learning the in’s and outs of digital media. I am most excited about learning the key issues with “collecting, preserving and interpreting digital and digitized primary sources from the perspective of a historian”. By learning the issues with digital history, I am hoping to acquire a more thorough knowledge on its importance, difficulty, and range of usage.
Outside of my education, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, running, trying new foods (today, I tried Indian cuisine- delicious!) and exploring my new home here in DC. Additionally, I have come to discover that I have a great interest in politics and the history of politics since moving to our Nation’s Capital. I still have A LOT to learn but for now I enjoy acting like a tourist by walking the Mall and visiting all the museums DC has to offer (which A LOT, compared to North Carolina).