Days of Future Past

Photo courtesy of Frank Vitale '16.

Photo courtesy of Frank Vitale '16.

Frank Vitale ’16

Growing up, Frank Vitale ’16 imagined himself as a lawyer, like the fictional ones who duke it out on TV. But after two on-campus internships, an independent-study course and a summer position at the Library of Congress, he’s found his niche in the digital humanities. Learn what he’ll study at Oxford this year, which historical figure he’d most like to meet and more.



Clubs and organization:

Swing Dance Club, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Lambda Delta, Archives & Special Collections (intern).

Favorite class:

An independent study on the modern history of the American hospital and laboratory. It pushed me to do my best and exposed me to landmark historical research. Apart from the fascinating subject material, I became a better student and learned powerful research and writing techniques.

Favorite book:

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas Basbanes.

Favorite movies:

Quiz Show and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

On choosing Dickinson:

When I first visited Dickinson, something about the campus made me feel at home. I’m not sure if it’s the limestone buildings or the friendly and intellectual community, but Dickinson feels like a place where I belong.

Favorite place on campus:

The college’s archives. It is a treasure trove and a great quiet place to study.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a teacher or lawyer. I liked seeing people learn. I also thought it was really cool that the lawyers on television could yell at each other while defending clients in court.

On studying abroad:

This year, I will study European and medical history at the Mansfield College of Oxford University [through the Dickinson in Oxford program]. I’m eager to make new friends, experience a new educational system and explore England and Europe.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Thomas Jefferson. Between his influential role in the formation of the United States, his sociopolitical beliefs, his eventful presidency, his love of neoclassical architecture and his embrace of knowledge in all its forms, we would have plenty to discuss!

Post-Dickinson plans:

Right now, my plan is to get involved with archives, special collections and the digital humanities. My internships at Dickinson and at the Library of Congress fueled my interest in preserving history for the future. I hope to continue my education by pursuing a master’s degree in library science and archives.

In a perfect world …

… we would all strive to learn and respect each other’s perspectives.

What I did this summer

Served as a junior fellow at the Library of Congress, working with the Veterans History Project.

Learn more




Published August 26, 2014