Undergraduates in the Archives – Question 1
Kevin Gotkin, Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Timothy B. Powell, Suzy Taraba, Sarah Werner
1How have you worked with undergraduates in archives and/or special collections?
A few years ago, I was an undergraduate in the archive. In a class called “Dead Media Research Studio” at New York University (NYU), Professor Ben Kafka introduced me to the great quip about the chiasmic imperative of good research: to “make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.” With this echoing in my ears, I found myself in the entrails of Bobst Library interviewing two preservation specialists about a small but intriguing collection of wire recordings.Read this Response
The Vodou Archive is a collaborative partnership spearheaded by the University of Florida and Duke University which seeks to improve the understanding of a central Haitian and Haitian-American spiritual tradition by gathering the audiovisual and textual sources of Vodou communities, interpreting what we collect, expanding the holdings through a self-submission tool, and diffusing the knowledge via an open access digital library.Read this Response
I am fortunate to hold positions at three major cultural institutions in Philadelphia. I teach in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania, work as a Contributing Scholar at the Penn Museum, and, as Director of Native American Projects at the American Philosophical Society (APS), I oversee one of the finest collections of Native American archival materials in the country.Read this Response
Since I came to Wesleyan nearly fifteen years ago, a key focus of my job has been outreach to the faculty, and thus the undergraduates, through the curriculum. To this end, I teach thirty-five to fifty class sessions each academic year in Special Collections & Archives (SC&A). Disciplines range from astronomy to writing, and just about everything in between.Read this Response
I am the director of the Undergraduate Program at the Folger Shakespeare Library, a program I created five years ago. It consists of two semester-long seminars in which students from universities in the D.C. area come to the Library to study book history and early modern culture. The goal of the seminars is for students to expand their knowledge of the period and their research skills by working directly with rare materials in the context of book history.Read this Response