Digital Archives Pedagogy Collaboration Opportunity
Are you interested in Digital Archives Pedagogy?
Whether you’re interested in the pedagogical potential of digitized special collections, digital oral history projects, or any other manifestation of digital archives, you might consider being listed as a potential collaborator on a preliminary grant application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services that is in planning at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. We are considering submitting an application for an IMLS Collaborative Planning Grant, deadline October 14.
The IMLS calls for grant proposals to “support a national digital platform, providing expanded and improved digital content and services to all users in the United States.” In response, we would like to seek funds to support a regional meeting of collaborators interested in increasing access to and usage of digital archives in undergraduate education. We are by no means committed to the grant concept outlined below; we welcome your input if you imagine different framing, goals, or questions for consideration. If you would like to discuss the possibility of being listed as a collaborator on this grant, please contact Charlotte Nunes (email@example.com), CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Scholarship, by Friday, October 3.
Academic and public libraries are increasingly digitizing selected holdings in their special collections, and national networks are emerging to enhance access to these digital collections. Here at Southwestern, for example, the Digital Texas Heritage Resource Center is linked to the statewide Portal for Texas History, which links in turn to the national Digital Public Library of America. All three of these digital initiatives represent significant strides in open access. Yet as Stephanie Browner observes in “Digital Humanities and the Study of Race and Ethnicity,” “being able to click on a link is only the first and perhaps most easily addressed issue in assuring a real democracy of knowledge. Having intellectual access is much harder.” Given the ongoing digitization of archives, how can we support undergraduate users in not only accessing archival materials, but also incorporating them in meaningful ways in their research and learning processes?
Programming supported by the Planning Grant might culminate in an event hosted by Southwestern University. In order to gauge interest in the possibility of launching a collaborative project around digital archives with scalable, extensible results to support a national digital platform, collaborators might discuss such questions as:
- What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of involving students in archival digitization processes as part of their undergraduate education? What supports need to be in place in order to ensure a mutually beneficial experience for both students and archivists?
- What kind of collaborative project might we launch to enhance the quality of undergraduate engagement with archives? What players would we need (community outreach specialists? Programmers?) to execute the project? And how would we evaluate/assess its efficacy?
- What are some ideas for digital tools (such as online interactive modules that guide students through digital archival building and analysis processes) we might develop to facilitate meaningful undergraduate engagement with archival objects? How could we make such tools applicable and replicable across archival institutions? What kind of resources and expertise would we need to develop such tools?