2 Preparations Before Class

Distribute the resources for archival research below to students before class and ask them to explore them thoroughly and bring questions to class. When you send students the resources consider also including question prompts.

Resources for Archival Research:
Examples of Question Prompts for Students:   
  • Are there words or phrases on the website or LibGuide that you don’t understand and can’t discern using contextual clues?
  • What results did you find in the Online Collections Database?
  • What geographic area and time period are found in the archival collections you found in the database?
  • What are the differences between the primary resources found in archives and secondary resources?

These are tools students will use during class; additionally, they will help students when using the archives in the future. Students should iteratively explore the resources before, during, and after class on their own.  The entire class time should not be devoted to reviewing the tools.

In order to prepare for the exercise, the instructor should examine the collection finding aids for the items in the exercise; consider answering the exercise questions for each item to better assist students during the class activity. A demonstration of the activity is included in this document.

Instructors should also plan to have any necessary online course virtual meeting tools (Zoom or other online synchronous learning tools, etc.) in place before beginning the class. Instructors should plan for students to work online either individually or in online break-out room groups.


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