University News

WIU Political Science Graduate Student Appointed IRAD intern

November 14, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Ryan Twitchell (Cuba, IL), a Western Illinois University political science graduate student, has been appointed as one of the 2005-06 Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) interns.

In its 30th year of operation, the IRAD annually appoints 18 graduate student interns to work at the seven centers at Illinois universities. Interns learn basic archival principles and skills and apply them to the local government records held in their respective regional depositories. They also provide reference services to the public.

Twitchell, who was originally a graduate assistant in the political science department, was offered the IRAD position when it opened in the fall. With hopes for a future in law, Twitchell says the internship has given him valuable experience working with government documents.

“I do a lot of research with primary government documents,” said Twitchell. “Not only has it helped me to develop my research skills, but it has also been useful in my current classes.”

His primary responsibility with the IRAD is to help patrons track and uncover documents. Although he typically works with local genealogists, Twitchell does encounter students once in a while.

“I truly enjoy doing research,” said Twitchell. “The whole process of searching, tracking it down and uncovering information is exciting.”

Scheduled to earn his master’s degree in May 2006, Twitchell plans on attending law school, hopefully at either the University of Illinois or Northern Illinois University.

The WIU-IRAD office contains inactive government documents that have been designated as having long-term value. These records have been transferred from various county offices in a 16-county region in west-central Illinois. The counties served by the
WIU-IRAD include Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Pike, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark and Warren.

The types of records housed in the depository differ for each county. They may include death and marriage records, deed records, probate records, tax records and naturalization records, as well as a variety of others.

The IRAD office is housed in WIU Archives and Special Collections, located on the 6th floor of the Western’s Malpass Library.

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