Session Description

In this session, Michelle Chiles, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Megan Lessard, Media Support and Outreach Coordinator, and Dr. Alyssa Lopez, Assistant Professor, will discuss the planning, project management, and outcomes of a recent student-curated exhibit and social media project.

In collaboration, the team developed a hands-on research and curatorial project for a graduate level history course entitled: Civil Rights and Black Power. Planning began with several brainstorming sessions between Michelle and Alyssa to design archives research visits for the class that went beyond the typical one-shot session. Using several relevant collections from the Providence Archives and Special Collections, Michelle designed a project for students to gain valuable research skills and use their findings to curate an exhibit for the library. To further enhance the students’ engagement with the collections, Megan developed a social media takeover project for students to showcase their research process and the collections using the Library’s social media platforms. Alyssa included public history and relevant resources, such as historiographical texts, in the course readings to further strengthen the students’ understanding of the work they were doing. Class time outside of the archives was also used to collaborate on the exhibit’s overall narrative to help tie the students’ research together.

This presentation will include tips for developing successful collaborations between archivists/librarians and faculty, getting buy-in for new and untested projects, approaches to identifying shared learning outcomes and course goals, managing workflows and timelines for overlapping student projects, leveraging staff expertise, strategies for scaffolding student research to produce effective results, pros and cons of embedded projects versus one-shot instruction sessions, and thoughts on the reproducibility of a high-impact project. The session will also leave time for questions and some discussion on creating similar student learning opportunities.

Type of Library

College Library


teaching, learning, archives, primary sources, exhibits, social media, outreach, engagement, hands-on, students, curation, curate, research, archival, manuscripts, collections, records, collaboration, project, history

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Jun 2nd, 9:00 AM Jun 2nd, 10:00 AM

Out of the Classroom, Into the Archives: Developing Successful Collaboration between Faculty and Archivists/Librarians to create high-impact learning experiences for students


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