It may seem as if history is set in stone, but rising senior Gabbie Kopchinsky is learning that history is far from static. Recent technological innovations allow historians to gain a clearer view of history and correct historical misconceptions, which has become more apparent to Gabbie through working with the Charleston Museum.
During the Spring semester of her sophomore year, Gabbie applied to the Charleston Museum for the position of Historic House Interpreter to enhance her studies in History and International Studies. Through this position, Gabbie is trained to conduct tours at two historic houses, including the Heyward-Washington House (the oldest historic house in the state of South Carolina) and the Joseph Manigault House. During the tours, she brings attention to the unique Charleston architecture as well as the legacy of the families who originally owned the houses. She has also held several positions with Powder Magazine as a volunteer, Research Assistant, and Public History Intern.
For Gabbie, being immersed in these experiences “offer a connection to history that goes beyond what you can get in the classroom.”
Through her current role, Gabbie has enjoyed learning more about how “our understandings and interpretations of artifacts are always changing.” For example, a paint analysis was conducted on one of the bedroom walls in the Joseph Manigault House. Researchers discovered that the current wall color is inaccurate to the time period, so plans are now in place to change the color to a more historically accurate shade.
Gabbie’s experiences working with the Charleston Museum are preparing her to pursue a career in public history. After earning her master’s degree, she aspires to work in educational programming at a large-scale historic site to educate visitors about the arts, culture, and history. Just as Gabbie’s fascination with history began at a young age by visiting historic sites, she hopes to inspire others to gain an appreciation for history and how it impacts the present.
-Christina Ferrell, Peer Career Advisor