Internship Update #5: Poland

Now that we have finished working on the Caribbean database, we have been given the opportunity to work on the museum database of a region of our choice. Since my research has been focused on Polish history, I asked to work on Poland’s dataset or any other dataset from Eastern Europe. I was given the Poland database to clean up and finish. When I first received the database, it was around eighty percent complete. An intern, I believe from the summer of 2017, had already worked on Poland’s dataset and had completed much of it. Now, my task is to clean up the work has been done previously, and finish cataloguing the remaining museums.

This has been really wonderful so far, as I have such an interest in Polish history. I have been to many of the museums in this database, which makes writing about these museums much easier. I  also get to learn about other museums in a country that I have been to many times. As I’m planning a trip there this summer, I am keeping track of some museums in this dataset that I might want to visit!

Some of the staff of the SCRI suggested I purchase a book called 1,000 Museums of Poland to help with working on the dataset. When first going through the book, I noticed a few museums in this book that were not previously included in the Poland dataset. I double-checked the internet, to make sure these museums were still open, and then added them to the dataset.

One of these was of particular interest to me because it’s a museum I have been to and is an incredibly important museum in Poland. The Bełżec Memorial Site and Museum is the site of the Bełżec extermination camp from World War II. Besides containing a large memorial to Holocaust victims, the site also contains an excellent and informational museum. On my most recent trip to Poland I got to visit this site and explore the museum.  It was one of the most incredible places I visited on that trip. I’m glad I recognized that this site was not on the Poland database yet. While all the museums on this list are important, Bełżec Memorial Site and Museum is internationally-known and recognized.

Because I have noticed that there are some museums missing from the dataset, I have decided to go alphabetically by town and try to catch any other missing sites. So far I have caught about twenty museums that were not previously on the dataset. It has slowed my progress a bit, but now I can be more confident that the dataset is as complete as possible.


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