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Friday, May 29 • 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Thinking Outside the Archive: Engaging Students and Community in Special Collections Digital Projects

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Building digital archives, digitizing and managing born-digital special collections material, and all of the preservation sustainability concerns that go along with these undertakings, have been a topic of conversation at information professional gatherings for nearly two decades. However, though cultural heritage has become progressively digital and potentially available to greater audiences, these materials are often not used or experienced to their full potential.

As an increasing number of academic institutions engage in digital initiatives and curricula, the role of archives and special collections has barely begun to be addressed. This panel brings together six professionals in a variety of roles, from a diverse set of higher educational institutions, engaging students and the local community with digital archives and special collections in innovative ways.

Chella Vaidyanathan (Johns Hopkins University) will focus on the first part of the Archiving Student Life project, a digital exhibit created by students to document the experience of undergraduate students at JHU. The online exhibit features archival materials that the students selected and contextualize through research and writing.

Caitlin Christian-Lamb (Davidson College) will discuss experimenting with new ways of engaging the college community with archives and special collections, focusing on curricular-based projects. These include: student-authored entries in the Davidson Encyclopedia, an environmental studies capstone born out of an archives crowdsourcing map project, visualizing archival data, and a collaborative mobile library design project.

Charlotte Nunes (Southwestern University) will describe planning and executing a digital-archives-based undergraduate English course, “Freedom and Imprisonment in the American Literary Tradition.” The course provides opportunities for students to learn about digital archives by building them, engaging with initiatives including the Texas After Violence Project and the American Prison Writing Archive.

Robin Wharton (Georgia State University) and Elon Lang (University of Texas at Austin) will share their experience founding a long-term collaborative digital archive for a medieval English poet. The Hoccleve Archive (www.hocclevearchive.org) is developing methods for facilitating digital editing projects that create overlapping "communities of practice"--comprising experts, students, and community members--assembled through the study of texts.

Engaging students and communities with archives and special collections not only increases visibility of a repository’s material by sharing knowledge with new audiences, but also serves an important pedagogical purpose. By sharing these five different experiences of outreach, community-building, and instruction using digital archives and special collections materials, we aim to start conversations about creative methods for collaboration, breaking institutional boundaries, and educating students and the wider community about special collections.

avatar for Caitlin Christian-Lamb

Caitlin Christian-Lamb

Ph.D. Candidate / Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, University of Maryland / Louisiana State University
Caitlin is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University’s School of Library & Information Science, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland’s iSchool, and a Review Editor for dh+lib. Her dissertation research is on social and reparative justice initiatives in academic archival settings, particularly in terms of gaps between published theory and practice, universities as racialized organizations, and the role of the individual archivist within a larger organization... Read More →
avatar for Elon Lang

Elon Lang

Lecturer, UT-Austin
I'm very interested in teaching archival materials and drama utilizing hybrid or mulitmodal platforms and medieval studies. I've been engaged in developing digital editions from manuscript sources for over 12 years. My current long term project is The Hoccleve Archive (http://hocclevearchive.org... Read More →
avatar for Chella Vaidyanathan

Chella Vaidyanathan

Curator of 19th-21st Century Rare Books and Manuscripts & Liaison Librarian for History, Africana Studies and Latin Amer, Johns Hopkins University
avatar for Robin Wharton

Robin Wharton

Lecturer in English, Georgia State University
I'm a lecturer in English, specializing in rhetoric, composition, and digital pedagogy, at Georgia State University. I am co-editor and head of technical development for the Hoccleve Archive (www.hocclevearchive.org), and a co-editor at Hybrid Pedagogy Publishing (www.hybrid.pub... Read More →

Designated Tweeters
avatar for Donnie Sendelbach

Donnie Sendelbach

Director of Instructional and Learning Services/Information Technology Associates Program, DePauw University
Donnie Sendelbach is the Director of Instructional and Learning Services, which provides instructional technology support for faculty and students at DePauw University. She also served at the Director of the Information Technology Associates Program. Previously, she supported instructional... Read More →

Friday May 29, 2015 2:45pm - 4:00pm EDT
Centennial Room Kellogg Center

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