History and digital media meet for Anna Lewis at National Archives

Anna Lewis '15 at the National Archives

Anna Lewis '15 at the National Archives

For history major Anna Lewis, time spent at the National Archives was a real treat. Spending a full semester as the Archives' social media intern for educational and public programs as part of the Lutheran College Washington Semester Program was an informative way to explore career options.

Lewis spent time writing blog posts in support of programs geared toward teachers who want to use the National Archives as part of their lesson plans. She also worked on specific exhibits. Her favorite was one about famous signatures on display at the Archives.

After spending several weeks focused on social media projects, Lewis got the opportunity to interact with Archives' visitors. She assisted with the Smithsonian Institution's annual Teachers' Night, held across the street at the American History Museum. The fair-like event involves different organizations offering information and answering questions about resources they offer to teachers.

By the end of her internship, Lewis had begun giving tours to Washington 8th-graders, who visit all branches of federal government and the National Archives as part of their curriculum.

"I learned so much about what the Archives has and what the Archives does. Giving tours, I could share what I learned with more people," Lewis says.

Lewis, who hails from just 20 miles outside of D.C. in Fairfax, Va., says she enjoyed her semester in Washington "immensely" and liked being able to explore the city whenever she wanted.

"I could run along the Potomac [River] and see the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial, run across Memorial Bridge...Running is a way that I sightsee," she says. "I also liked to sit at Lincoln Memorial at sunset and watch the lights come on in the city."

Back at Roanoke this spring, the history major has returned to her job in the College Archives. While working around such elements of history as the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution was very rewarding for her, she is excited to return to Roanoke and says she now knows she wants to work in a place where she can build exhibits.

"I like to actually hold history in my hands," she says.

 Traci Crockett '01