Kyle Lynes, May 2012

Kyle Lynes is the sort of volunteer we here in the archive absolutely treasure – smart, confident handling the collections, and always eager to do a thorough  and good job on her projects.  Kyle started volunteering in Summer 2011 when she was still a graduate student getting her Masters in Library Science degree at Southern Connecticut State University (she completed her degree in Fall 2011) and wanted some experience working in an archive.  Even though she accepted a position in September 2011 as Reference and Cataloging Librarian at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut, her schedule has allowed her to continue coming to Archives & Special Collections one day a week to work with our collections.

Kyle is currently working with me on an exhibit we’re calling Workers at Play: Baseball Teams, Bowling Leagues and Company Picnics, of images from the Connecticut Business Collections showing the pastimes, sponsored or promoted by companies in the state,  that workers indulged in in workplaces in the past.  Kyle has exhaustively searched through over a dozen business collections and has meticulously chosen the photographs that will be in the exhibit.  She has scanned them for an online exhibit, written captions, and logged each image for either duplication or preparation for display in the exhibit.  The exhibit will be up in the Dodd Research Center Gallery from July 9 to October 19.  After that it will be a traveling exhibit and have an online presence (which I will announce in this blog in October).

Kyle tells me that she has most enjoyed the work of sifting through the old photographs, immersing herself in the eras depicted in the images.  She loves getting a sense of how workplaces around the state promoted a sense of community through their sports teams, dances, parties and other pastimes.  Kyle also said that she has enjoyed working in Archives & Special Collections, with staff and student assistants who care about the work of preserving the past.

After the exhibit is done Kyle will likely not continue her volunteer work here – her own pastimes and other volunteer work, in addition to her professional work at Three Rivers, will more than occupy her time – but we will always welcome her back if she decides to work again with our collections.  Next on her horizon is some volunteering at the Middle Haddam Public Library, where she will utilize her experience with archival collections.

Thank you, Kyle, for volunteering your time in Archives & Special Collections!

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

Men’s basketball team from New Britain Machine Company, 1920