84  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions And Responses
become a signature project not only for Special Collections, but for the University. These students have to complete a
major research thesis by their senior year, which sometimes involves Special Collections research. The success of this
initiative has led to discussions of the creation of an Undergraduate Research Center to be based in the Library.
The courses we have worked with include classes in Design, English, Foreign/World Languages, History, Landscape
Architecture & Design, Statistics. We have also worked with the Honors Program & the Horticultural Learning
The Director of Special Collections taught a University course using rare books. The course culminated in an exhibit
curated by students in the class.
The faculty are often responsible for contacting us. Those seem to be the best collaborations. Where we approached
faculty on our own we find there is a lot less sustained interest.
This focus has only been in place (and emphasized) for about a year. During that time, no one person has been
designated as the coordinator for these efforts (the position that typically would serve as coordinator has been open for
a year). Therefore, no one person is able to devote him/herself to outreach to faculty.
This is definitely the weakest aspect of our special collections engagement efforts!
Varies by discipline, but curators work in concert to reach certain professors.
We consistently recommend to faculty requesting class presentation(s) that they include an assignment and we are
careful to be responsive when they show interest in this possibility. Typically, success one year gets it into the syllabus for
future years.
We have a tradition of collaboration with a number of teaching departments by virtue of the nature of our collections:
literature, political science, history, art history, library and information science. Our active exhibits program highlights all
manner of collections and draws faculty attention and interest to our holdings.
We have begun a project to complete a course scan of the university calendar to see what courses we might have
materials of relevance for. We’ll then approach the instructors with lists of our relevant holdings and offer to work with
them to integrate the material into their courses and assignments.
We have found that encouraging faculty to hold classes in Special Collections is the best way to promote the use of our
collections. It allows faculty and students to have specific knowledge about the importance of our materials to their
We have met with selective faculty and graduate student groups in disciplines that have a strong connection to our
collections. This has been fairly effective.
We have worked with faculty to design specific assignments, and we also make material available on class hold; we
have digitized items from the collections to make them more accessible, and we have an overhead scanner available for
patron use, since a lot of researchers now require digital images/text as part of their research process.
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