Pt. 2: Independent Research in Special Collections
Part 1 of this course guide supports students visiting Special Collections for the first time. The next step is independent research. Below are the tools we have found useful in preparing students to visit the archives on their own and to produce useful research notes that inform future writing.
Students will already be familiar with UW-Madison's tutorial for special collections visitors. Parts two and three offer further instruction for visiting and finding materials.
The Holding History Podcast is a series of
fast-paced, bookish conversations. We interview archivists, librarians, scholars, and artists, discussing the fascinating and, sometimes puzzling, ways we record, share, and preserve cultural knowledge.
Students heard one episode before their initial visit. We ask them to listen to one more before they return to special collections. The episodes featuring Fenella France, Greg Mackie, and Damion Thomas have been especially popular and focus on archives.
Large groups can cause issues for small library spaces. We use a simple sign-up document so that students visit the libraries in groups of 5-6.
Book historian and rare book curator Allie Alvis presents short, engaging, and extremely helpful pieces on book history. Students should watch at least two short videos of their choice.