The Gore Center is happy to introduce Mary DePeder, our Bart Gordon Papers intern for this summer! During the spring semester, the Gore Center held a nationwide search for a graduate student in public history and archives to help process the congressional papers of former U.S. Representative Bart Gordon. Like many congressional archives, it is a rather large collection (over 650 boxes), so we hope that Mary can help inventory a significant chunk of the collection to make the important information within the boxes more accessible to the public. She will also be working on a digital humanities project using the Bart Gordon Papers, so stay tuned. That being said…let’s meet Mary!
Mary is originally from Chicago, Illinois, but she has spent most of her life right here in Murfreesboro. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in History from MTSU. She is currently enrolled in MTSU’s Public History program, where she concentrates on archival management.
What are your research interests? Currently, I’m interested in community archives, women’s, and LGBT history. This summer I will be writing my master’s thesis on class and generational tensions in the lesbian homophile movement, the Daughters of Bilitis.
What do you do for fun? Any free time I have–while in school and working full time–I love spending with my partner going to drive-in movies, hiking, or canoeing. But with my current hectic schedule, nap time with my dog and cat are high up there in the fun category.
What interests you about congressional archives? I enjoy tackling new challenges in areas I’m not yet familiar with. I have been told that congressional collections are “magnificent beasts,” so that sounds right up my alley.
What are you looking forward to during your internship? I’m most looking forward to gaining hands-on archival experience, and learning more about local political history.
What are your future career aspirations? I am interested in anything related to archival or library work. Currently, I work with the Nashville Public Library and absolutely love it. I would love to continue on in that field and one day work for their Special Collections department. If we’re talking pipe dreams, however, I would love any opportunity to work at an LGBT archive.
Look out for updates this summer from Mary on processing the Bart Gordon Papers! And the Gore Center would like to give a special thank you to Bart Gordon, who makes this internship possible!