Using Primary Sources: Hands-On Instructional Exercises

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edited by Anne Bahde, Heather Smedberg, and Mattie Taormina

ISBN-13: 9781610694346

170 pages • 8½ x 11
Year Published: 2014

With its range of in-class exercises, this book serves as an essential tool for educators seeking to expand their repertoire of active learning techniques.

An ideal resource for cultural heritage professionals who teach with original materials, this book provides fresh, adaptable, and easy-to-implement primary source literacy exercises to improve their teaching and engage their students.

Special collections librarians and archivists in academic settings are often confronted with the challenge of teaching classes outside their personal area of expertise, with very little notice or guidance—as the authors of this book can attest. Using Primary Sources: Hands-On Instructional Exercises features 30 adaptable, hands-on exercises that special collections librarians, archivists, museum professionals, and teaching faculty can use in a multitude of instructional situations with K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and library school students.

The exercises teach lessons in both archival intelligence—such as building skills in using finding aids and locating primary sources—and artifactual literacy, such as building skills in interpretation and analysis of primary sources. Each exercise includes sections for audience, subject area, and materials used so that instructors can find customizable, easy-to-follow "recipes" to use regardless of personal experience and expertise. In addition, this consultable reference resource includes a bibliography of readings related to instruction in special collections, archives, and museum environments.


  • Presents adaptable, time-saving, and practical exercises for different audiences, disciplines, and types of collection materials
  • Advances pedagogical practice in special collections and archives beyond "show-and-tell" to mirror the current methods of practitioners in information literacy, which will serve efforts toward primary source literacy and assessment
  • Provides straightforward, time-saving exercises that provide enough detail to offer specific guidance to instructors but allow for flexibility and adaptability
Sku: 9781610694346

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