My name is Elizabeth Bailey, and I am the Summer 2020 intern for the Vance Birthplace. Since I am unable to come to the site day in and day out to work due to the Covid19 restrictions, my internship will be mostly virtual for the rest of the summer. Consequently, you will be seeing more of me on various social media and web platforms associated with the Vance Birthplace.
I am currently a graduate student with the Public History department at Appalachian State University, and my research interests focus on women’s history, American military history, and the history of women in medicine. I plan to graduate in May 2021 with an M.A. in History with a concentration in Public History. I have always loved museums and historic sites since childhood and would like to use my knowledge and historical skill to teach others about history. I have an undergraduate degree in Social Studies Secondary Education, so I enjoy teaching and learning in multiple different outlets.
Some “fun facts” about me are that I read everything I can get my hands on, and combining my books with my mother’s often makes our house look like a library; and outside of history I have a strange interest in ocean science, especially if it’s creepy. Other hobbies include crochet and cross stitching, along with drawing and watching documentaries. I have a ten year old dog that I am obsessed with, Sophie, who you can see below.
This summer my big project will be to create a virtual timeline that gives voice to the histories of the women of the Vance Birthplace, both white free women and the enslaved. My goal is to open up dialogue about the lives these women led and the agency they exhibited in changing their own lives, the lives of those around them, the Vance Birthplace, the Reems Creek Valley, or Western North Carolina in some way. I feel that women have been repeatedly silenced throughout history, and since my area of research has been focused on women’s history since my undergraduate career, I plan to bring their stories to light in any way possible.
During this internship I will also be learning how interpretation is done, or at least the basics of it, the daily requirements of running a historic site in terms of online work and historical research, and how to create more inclusive interpretation and present the history of controversial topics to the public online. Hopefully I will be able to visit the sight at some point this summer to interact with some physical artifacts and to engage with the buildings on site, pending a loosening of restrictions!
I appreciate you taking the time to learn more about me by reading this and am excited to continue my work for the Vance Birthplace this summer! I am enjoying getting to know the history of the Reems Creek Valley and am optimistic about the projects I will be completing this summer!
Stay safe and sane during the chaos!