Magda Srienc at the MAA

magda_srienc_student_stories_1_resized“In the 2013 summer, I completed a nine-week CHIP internship at the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA). I was a fulltime intern with the Anthropology department where my main tasks were provenance research, object documentation, and object handling. Experiencing first-hand the intricate processes of collection documentation, storage, and display are things which cannot be learnt in the classroom.  I was greatly impressed (and overwhelmed) by the extent of the collections. Being able to personally handle objects gave me the confidence and independence to work with collections and consider a future in the museum world.

My internship began a week before the opening of a major exhibition: ‘Chiefs and Governors: Art and Power in Fiji’. Seeing and helping with the installation process gave insight into the relationships between communities and museums which are integral to displaying cultural heritage. At the grand opening, a Fijian delegation performed traditional dances and songs using objects that I would later accession into the museum database. Witnessing the creation of this new object history was impressive and one of the highlights of my overall experience.

My internship provided the basis for my research thesis which examines the power of objects and the relationship and collaboration that institutions, such as the MAA, establish with source communities.”

Magda Srienc, HUM/SSC double Major, class of 2014