Friday, March 12, 2010

CFP - Undergraduate learning through special collections and archives

Undergraduate learning through special collections and archives
from Dolores' List of CFPs

Proposals are invited for chapters/case studies to be included in a book to be published by ACRL in Spring 2011 on practices and programs in libraries which enhance undergraduate learning through special collections and archives. The book's editors are Peggy Seiden (College Librarian, Swarthmore), Eleanor Mitchell (Director, Library Services, Dickinson College), and Suzy Taraba (Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Wesleyan University).

In the age of ubiquitous access to information and mass digitization of materials, library special collections and archives are receiving renewed attention. While some of this attention is focused on making these unique collections available outside of their home institutions through digitization, many academic libraries have also developed innovative approaches to integrating special collections and archives into the undergraduate curriculum and co-curricular activities. These materials offer both distinctive content and opportunities for students to experience learning though direct engagement with rare or unique items, or materials whose arrangement and organization illuminates, instructs, or delights. Beyond "hands on history," courses from across the curriculum are being enriched through assignments, experiences, and activities that draw upon or incorporate primary sources, material culture, and local or unusual items. Often the focus is on the book as art object or artifact. Undergraduates may also deepen their learning through Special Collections' internships or participation as classes or individuals in designing and producing exhibits, projects, and publications on topics or scholarly or institutional value. The essays in this volume describe successful programs which include a wide range of engagement (single assignments through certificate programs) with unique and rare materials and archival approaches and methodologies.

The publication will use the case study approach; chapters should be approximately 3000 words ( which would be 10 pages, double spaced type.) We welcome chapters from librarians, teaching faculty, program administrators, and others. We would be especially interested in receiving submissions from students or student/librarian or student/faculty co-authors.

Please send a one page abstract describing the program, project or approach you would like to propose as a chapter in this publication by March 31, to Eleanor Mitchell (

Proposals will be reviewed by the editors and those that are selected will receive requests for drafts of complete chapters.

Possible topics:

I. Students as researchers

a. "Hands on history:" Teaching with archival materials

b. Beyond history: Using special collections across the curriculum

II. Students as curators

a. Curating physical exhibits

b. Curating digital exhibits

III. Students engagement with book arts and book making

a. Students as bookmakers

b. The book as an object of study and research

IV. Building and documenting collections

a. Undergraduate participation in digitization projects

b. Creating new archival materials: students as collectors

c. Documenting student life and work: educating undergraduates as archivists and curators

V. Growing your own: designing special collections' jobs and internships for undergraduates

a. Student work in special collections

b. Student work in archives

c. Students as peer mentors to the collections

Amelia Brunskill

Liaison Librarian for the Sciences

Dickinson College

(717) 245-1601