Staff Spotlight: Nora Roeder

by Steven Dugan

Internships provide students with invaluable experience as they put their education and training to use working in their desired field. Among the Homestead’s current paid staff, many got their start in the museum field working as an intern.

Our summer intern, Nora Roeder, came to us through a Collections Management program at Cal State Long Beach. A graduate of Whittier College, Nora has a particular interest in textiles and had an opportunity to work extensively with items in our collection while also receiving a general overview of collections management. We asked Nora to tell us a little more about herself, her interests, and her studies.

How did you find the Homestead Museum? What were your first impressions when you began?

As part of the Collections Management for Costume and Textile program at California State Long Beach, the instructors assign students to work in institutions that they feel will suite the students well. I was excited to be working in a small museum and revisit California history.

What are the main objectives of your internship?

The main objectives of my internship are to immerse myself into the preservation, organization, and care of a museum collection, while also putting what I have learned from my program into practice.

What was the most challenging task you preformed, and why?

When Cara Varnell, a professional textile conservator, was here working on the polar bear rug, we had to carry him up a flight of stairs to be repaired, and then back down to his display area. The polar bear is large and much heavier than he looks!

What task was the most fun, and why?

During my time here, I inventoried the whole textile collection; this was fun because I got to see every textile that is part of the collection at the museum.

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Nora Roeder secures a visual label to one of the Homestead’s textile racks.

Is there any historical period of costumes that is your favorite?

I do not have a favorite period of costume. During my time at the Homestead, it has given me a chance to learn more and refresh my knowledge of the late 1800s to 1920s!

If you could have any career related to your specialty, what would it be?

I would love to be able to supervise a costume house, or a costume collection.

When you are not dealing with textiles and costumes, what do you like to do for fun?

My second love is the theatre! I often work as a Production Stage Manager for theatre productions and I also work as a project manager for costume designers.

I have small dog named Ginger Rogers who takes up a lot of my spare time.

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