The importance of an internship experience cannot be overstated. No doubt, the University of Franche-Comté deemed it a necessary program for its students in various departments. In this regard, I write this article to share the experience of my first-year internship program that lasted for a period of two months at Institut Henri Poincaré. However, it was relatively short but also a vital blueprint for my studies and academic endeavors at large.
The library of the Henri Poincaré institute holds a collection of some 400 mathematical models and designs that come in different materials: glass, plastic, cardboard, wire, sewing thread on a rigid frame, plaster. The library’s rare books collection is made of over a thousand titles mostly from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Books over 700 copies with different languages namely French, Latin, German, English, and Italian. Among the works from the seventeenth century, their vault holds titles by Kepler, Francois Viete, Descartes, Diophantus, Cavalieri, and Huygens. As for the eighteenth century, they preserve the works of Daniel Bernoulli, Isaac Newton, Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, Leonhard Euler, and Condorcet.
My work in the institute library at the Rare Book and manuscript section was quite interesting and educative. Before I arrived at the institute library, there was the need to conduct a physical counting and crosschecking of the old books available. This marked the terminus a quo of my work. Another interesting aspect of my work was to write a book description for some books that were not in the digital file of the library’s old book. It involved making a bibliography description of the books respectively. Obviously, this improved my knowledge of book description, as I was able to deal with different kinds of books format, typography, binding, engravings, and other information need for a comprehensive book description.
I also searched for the Library’s old books in other library catalogues such as Sudoc, KVK – Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog, BNF Catalogue Général, World’s largest library catalogue (Worldcat.org), etc. To provide the links or codes of the Institute library’s old books with other online sources. It was an advantage, to use their brand new Opérateur Elarscan ESA2.V2.600R to scan some of the manuscripts for their digitalization.
Conclusively, the benefits of completing an internship are priceless and in most cases, one gets a high chance of securing a job afterward. It is therefore a good system of matching theoretical and practical learning. The payoff of my internship is that I was able to gain valuable scholarly experience ad rem to my future career, where I might otherwise have none. My self-confidence and academic profile also advanced.