A Day in the Life: Intern Spotlight Gemma Rose

A Day in the Life: Intern Spotlight Gemma Rose 1

Where are you from?

I am a rare oddity as a true Floridian. I was born and raised in Palm Beach, FL.

What parts of St. Augustine’s history interest you the most?

As a child, I grew up exploring White Hall, Henry Flagler’s winter estate. When I was 20 years old I took my first visit to St. Augustine, FL. I instantly fell in love with Flagler College and the Lightner. Since moving here I have found myself in the epicenter of where it all began for Flagler in Florida. I loved learning about how Flagler selected Carrère and Hastings to design these massive opulent buildings. Or most recently discovering that Henry Flagler and Bishop John Moore were friends and how Flagler on occasion would donate funds or property to the Bishop to help him grow the Catholic community all over Florida. Every time I open a new folder in the archive I feel like I am discovering something new about the man who developed the East Coast of Florida.

What projects are you working on at the Research Library?

I am currently working on creating a finding aid for MC48. It contains correspondence from the British occupancy in St. Augustine. The letters by Governor Grant, Governor Moultrie, and Governor Tonyn sent to the crown depict life in early Florida. They discuss agriculture, hurricanes, and the development of New Smyrna. The records date from 1764 to 1783. The most exciting items I have found in this collection is the correspondence from 1777 of John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin. I can’t wait to dive deeper into this collection!

What is your educational background?

I obtained my AA from Palm Beach State College in 2009.
After much encouragement from my boss at Palm Beach Library System, I went out for my BA.
I obtained my BA in Humanities from St. Leo University in 2018.
I will be graduating St. John’s University with my Master’s in Library Information Sciences majoring in Archival Management in March 2020.

What made you decide to intern with the Research Library?

Before I attended school at St. John’s I was on the fence about what type of librarian I wanted to become. I had worked previously for only public libraries. I called up the Research Library and requested a tour. I drove 3 hours and arrived at their doorstep. I was greeted by Chad Germany who whisked me through the collection enthusiastically showing me early maps, newspapers, … you name it! To see someone working and speaking so passionately about the collection I knew one day I would like to volunteer there. After moving to the area and taking a class that required volunteer services, I instantly jumped on the opportunity to contact Chad and become a volunteer. Since starting I have gained a great appreciation for what archivists do and how they strive to protect their collections and make them available to the public. For me personally volunteering here has been so rewarding.