I’m looking forward to an exciting semester working with Southwestern University undergrads on projects involving a host of digital archives initiatives: the Digital Public Library of America, the Human Rights Documentation Initiative, and the Rule of Law Oral History Project, to name just a few. The beginning of the semester is a good time to evaluate teaching resources that have worked well in the past and think about incorporating new ones. Inspired by my colleague and fellow Council on Library and Information Resources Postdoc Monica Mercado’s (@) Twitter appeal this morning on behalf of her independent study undergrads–“does anyone have an article they like on *doing* archival research?”–I’ve collected here my go-to resources for facilitating undergraduate engagement with archives. I developed these resources with the support of the Bridging Disciplines Programs at UT-Austin in 2013, when I was still a wee graduate student. I’m happy to report that I still find them useful for getting everyone (students and faculty) on the same page about what archives are and how undergrads can orient themselves to the archival research task.
Without further ado:
Archival Research Glossary and Exercise. This glossary pulls from the Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology. The accompanying exercise enables students to familiarize themselves with common concepts and terms they’ll encounter in physical and digital archives.
Archival Artifact Analysis Worksheet. This basic worksheet challenges students to make analytical observations about a selected archival object. It also asks students to think about next steps for researching context, thus initiating the process of identifying secondary sources to contextualize primary sources.
Undergraduate Archival Research Considerations. This hand-out offers strategies and considerations for undergraduates new to the archival research task.
Archives and Interdisciplinary Education. This hand-out for faculty offers strategies and considerations for involving students in archives-based coursework.