Booked for the summer

Briana Gausland ’20 selected for Library of Congress Junior Fellows program

Briana Gausland ’20 talks with Kyle Courtney, an attorney and scholar on copyright law who came to Wheaton last year for a two-day visit.

Briana Gausland ’20 has been selected for the Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program, which offers a paid 10-week internship for undergraduate and graduate students to work with the collections in the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution.

Fellows explore digital initiatives and inventory, catalog, arrange, preserve and research a backlog of special, legal or copyright collections in many different formats. Each intern works on a project that aims to increase access and awareness of the special collections of the Library of Congress, which serves as the research arm of Congress. Gausland will work in the manuscript reading room helping people with their reference inquiries for research in person and by email, fax or phone. [Update: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this internship ending up being remote.]

Gausland, a history major, has been interested in the subject since childhood. “As a kid, it was my favorite subject in school. At Wheaton, that interest really came to life with a lot of help from the History Department,” she said.

For the past three years, she has worked in the Gebbie Archives on campus alongside Archivist and Records Manager Mark Armstrong and Director of Archives and Digital Initiatives Kate Boylan ’04, who describes Gausland as “outstanding.”

“They have allowed me to do a lot of hands-on work throughout my time there, all of which has prepared me for working at the Library of Congress,” Gausland said.

Briana Gausland ’20 competes as a member of the women’s track and field team during Wheaton’s invitational in January. (Photo by Keith Nordstrom)

Being a student-athlete also has been key to her success, said Gausland, a member of the women’s track and field team. She is a four-time New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference champion, nine-time All-New England honoree and most recently finished in one of the top two spots in the 200m dash in Wheaton’s invitational in January.

“My team is my support system, and we’ve definitely fostered an environment where we encourage each other to succeed. Also, the success that I have seen as a runner at Wheaton has really encouraged me to chase success in other parts of my life,” she said.

The Library of Congress internship fits perfectly into the future she envisions, she said. “After Wheaton, I’m planning to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in both history and library and information science—with the goal of working as an archivist within an academic setting.”

Last summer, Gausland interned with JSTOR, a digital library, which gave her additional experience in library science. Now, she gets to broaden her skills even more.

“I’m excited to work at the largest library in the world with some of the top people in the field and with a variety of academics on their research,” she said. “Overall, I’m just so thankful that Wheaton has let me have all of these wonderful experiences and has prepared me for these great opportunities.”