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News Stories

Teaching Undergraduates with Archives

In November 2018, the Bentley Historical Library hosted Teaching Undergraduates with Archives, a three-day national symposium that invited archivists, faculty, and students to participate in sessions focused on collaboration, design, evaluation, and research centered around teaching undergraduates with primary sources.

Now, the Bentley has produced a book with the same name as the symposium, featuring 43 different authors. The book mirrors the evolving practice and academic research on primary sources in the classroom.

Teaching Undergraduates with Archives includes case studies, reflections, and forecasts concerning critical thinking, active learning, and archival evidence. The chapters describe collaborations between faculty, archivists, librarians, and students.

Ideas behind new assignments and syllabi provide an immediate utility for those who teach with primary sources. Testimonies to the challenges and benefits of robust programs speak to the emerging prioritization of teaching and learning across disciplines with archives and special collections.

“This work reflects a shift at the Bentley and beyond to develop new approaches to engaging undergraduates in research with primary sources,” says Bentley Associate Director Nancy Bartlett, who edited the book along with Bentley archivists Liz Gadelha and Cinda Nofziger. “Teaching students how to analyze and understand primary sources is how you can teach students to analyze and understand anything.”

The book is open-source and digital downloads have been made available for free here.

Print copies are $19.99 and can be found here.