It’s National Volunteer Week (April 21-27, 2013), and it’s also getting close to the day when we will say farewell to Bethania, our fabulous high school intern.  We could not operate the Historical Society’s museums, library, or programs without our many volunteers!  So, as a small token of thanks to all the people who help keep us going, I thought I’d highlight one of Bethania’s collections projects on today’s blog.

As we do with all our high school, college, and graduate level interns, we assigned her a wide variety of activities, from the interesting to the rather less interesting.  If you’re thinking about going into museum work, it’s important to know that it’s not all opening boxes of treasures; some days you may be making copies, or setting up chairs.  But we do try to make most of their time here at least moderately entertaining!  As her final project, Bethania is helping me prepare new boards on our infant Pinterest page by taking photos of our shoe collection.  Over the years we’ve amassed a large number of shoes, mostly women’s and children’s; unfortunately many came with no particular provenance, but they’re still pretty interesting (and sometimes just plain pretty).  I confess, these are my picks rather than Bethania’s – she is taking time off from the internship to handle pesky things like exams and college prep – but perhaps you’ll be hearing from her on the blog soon.

T1067 2


A pair of snazzy toddler shoes, black patent leather with tan cut-out trim, circa 1925; history unknown.



T1123 1




White kid pumps, purchased from Rich’s Proper Shoes, Washington DC, circa 1950; history unknown.


T2171 2




Lace-up high-top ladies’ boots, brown leather, purchased from the Maryland Shoe Company of Cumberland, circa 19o0; history unknown.




T73 1



Some of my personal favorites – a pair of “Princess Pat” shoes, early 1920s; history unknown.



T2165 2



And at last, a pair of white fabric peep-toe sandals, made by Valcraft and purchased at Julius Garfinckel & Co., Washington DC, circa 1965.  This pair was owned by Frances Partridge of Rockville.

(Apologies if the text and photos aren’t matching up right – they look okay in my preview, but I suspect things will go wrong on other screens.)

Want to relive past intern projects? (Who wouldn’t?)  We’ve featured them in these posts: Log cabin toy, A peek inside the dairy house, 1912 and 1924 diaries, a compendium of summer projects, and one guest blog.  Take a moment to check out their work – and remember, if you see a volunteer, say Thank You!