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Macalester College Archives and Special Collections

Teaching with Collections

Teaching with Special Collections
Teaching with Special Collections
Teaching with Special Collections
Teaching with Special Collections

What we do

Interested in incorporating primary sources in your teaching, or having your students conduct research using materials from the College Archives or our Special Collections? Want your students to learn about archives, archival research, and what primary sources are and how to critically examine them? Some of the things we do include:

  • Teach synchronously or asynchronously on:
    • The basics of what archives are and how collections are built, including the importance of examining archival silences and gaps
    • How to do archival research and use finding aids
    • Using our own archival and special collections materials pertinent to your students' research
    • Document analysis or other targeted activities specific to your learning goals, built around selections of digital or physical materials (whether ours or using other openly available digital collections)
    • Metadata and description for digital projects
    • Developing or producing mock, digital, or physical exhibit projects
  • Brainstorm and help develop activities and assignments
  • Digitize physical primary source materials or provide existing digital materials for your class (depending on staff time and sufficient advance notice)
  • Create short videos of collections materials or our spaces (Archives and Rare Books Room)
  • Research consultations with students
  • Co-teach with the Research and Instruction Librarian for your department

We love figuring out new ways of getting students engaged with our collections, and seeing those moments when they make connections. We're happy to chat anytime about ideas, questions, plans, etc.—contact the Archives and Special Collections at