SPEC Kit 317: Special Collections Engagement  ·  83
to present to the class. For the final paper, students were required to write a research paper using primary sources
from any repository, and several used our collections. Cinema Studies and the Archive: This course examined the
use of primary source material in cinema studies. An exciting example of technology in special collections, students
combined their use of onsite, paper-based collections with DVDs, online video footage, and other media. Each week
the class focused on a particular topic in cinema studies, including censorship, marketing, fan culture, critical reception,
and exhibition, and students presented related archival material in the university’s digital and material collections as
potential primary texts for analysis. The final project took the form of a class presentation and research dossier for a
proposed paper. Alma Mater: Two graduate students who organized an exhibition on the history of woman at the
University taught a gender studies course drawing on their research; students in the course produced a panel exhibit of
digital surrogates of primary sources for a non-Library location.
Increased resources and a new organizational structure have placed a new emphasis on making special collections
discoverable, and integrating those resources into the academic programs of the university. In addition, through
University Archives we have the responsibility for the institutional record, with administrative, educational, and research
operations required to serve our administrative users.
MOLE Intercollegiate MS from Concordia University.
Much of the communication between librarians and faculty happens between the subject librarian and teaching faculty.
The most successful cases have come to us in that way.
Occasional PhD dissertation defense done in Special Collections when appropriate.
One faculty member assigns students to gather or create unique documentation about the Southeast Asian American
experience in Southern California. This often results in collections of oral histories, unique photographs, memoirs, family
correspondence, etc. Students donate these materials to the Southeast Asian Archive at the end of their class.
Ongoing efforts, but one-on-one contact seems most successful, although also most time-consuming!
Our collaboration with faculty, both in terms of course-related instruction and student research use is fairly vigorous and
robust. On the basis of enthusiastic faculty support, our Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts received a University-
wide award given for service to the faculty.
Over the last year, faculty have expressed frustration with students, who do not want to actually go to the library
to engage with materials, but prefer to use surrogates on the Web. Faculty feel this does not give students a full
understanding of the evidence inherent in the artifacts, which is part of what they want them to learn. On the other
hand, increasing digitization has allowed certain kinds of class projects and collaboration that would not otherwise be
Selecting materials for curricular or student research use, often in collaboration with faculty, is a time-consuming
business; but careful attention to suitability of materials is essential to successful use in class assignments. Exhibits
and individual e-mail messages play a key role in alerting faculty and/or students (including grad student teaching
assistants) to categories of materials appropriate for student research projects.
Some professors regularly assign projects using SPC materials which we jointly select; we have been the repository for
materials loaned to the University for use in paleography classes.
Special student exhibit curator opportunities created.
The Carroll Forum (“Georgetown’s flagship opportunity for its most academically talented and ambitious
undergraduates”) for the past several years has brought 35–40 freshman into Special Collections, each one being
assigned an original document, rare book, or piece of artwork to perform semester-long research upon. This has
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