NPC Honors Student Finds Passion In Local History

Miriam Baldwin, NPC Honor Student, sitting in front of a microfilm machine at the Garland County Historical Society.National Park College (NPC) Honors Program student Miriam Baldwin is spending her summer as an intern at the Garland County Historical Society (GCHS). Honors Program students can earn credit for approved internships as part of their Honors Seminar class.

“I have always liked history,” said Baldwin. “When I came in here for my internship and I saw all of this stuff surrounding me, the very old and really historical Hot Springs, I was like, ‘Oh, this is the place for me’.” Baldwin said she was impressed with the expansive collections housed at the GCHS. “We have the yearbooks and the census records and all of these books written by many locals here in Hot Springs.”

Baldwin’s first project was to reorganize the GCHS microfilm collection. The GCHS has a new microfilm machine that was purchased with a grant from the Oaklawn Foundation. She is indexing each film, adding it to the software catalog and archiving them to make them easier to locate. The collection spans from 1875 to 2013 and includes newspapers such as the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, the Hot Springs New Era, and other early papers from the area. Baldwin also plans to use her experience to complete her Honors program capstone project.

GCHS Executive Director, Liz Robbins said Baldwin has been a tremendous asset to the organization in her short time there. “We are delighted to have Miriam here. It’s a great opportunity for us to connect with some of the younger people and it’s so exciting when younger people love history. We want to do everything we can to encourage that.”

Baldwin graduated from Lake Hamilton High School in 2017 and will complete her associate degree at NPC in May. She plans to transfer to Arkansas Tech University to study public history and hopes to work as a curator in a museum one day. She says she was inspired to this career path by a high school history teacher who encouraged her love of history.

Pictured is Baldwin at the Garland County Historical Society beside the new microfilm machine that was purchased with a grant from the Oaklawn Foundation.