Educators are always looking for new ideas to make learning experiences interesting and challenging for students. One way to enrich learning is to connect the past to the present. By giving students an opportunity to research primary sources, the past comes alive in a way often not possible in today’s Internet age.
The Archives and Area Research Center of Cofrin Library is a treasure of original materials on just about any topic imaginable. Not just for history majors, the Archives can help with assignments in many disciplines. Examples include:
- A graphics class might look at consumer products ads over time to evaluate changes in style or presentation.
- A geography class would gain a greater understanding of land use patterns by using original maps and community plans housed in the Archives.
- A communications class studying media could study the differences in the media coverage of events such as Lincoln’s assassination versus JFK’s assassination; or, even the differences in media coverage of elections.
- An environmental science class studying the Niagara Escarpment would find it useful to analyze the unpublished conference proceedings and reports.
- A humanities course might compare and contrast a movie of a historical time period with diaries written by individuals living the event.
- A nutrition class studying food ways of ethnic groups could examine original recipe books and oral histories with homemakers
- Human development courses learning about various aspects of human relationships might gain deeper understandings by looking at courtship letters, scrapbooks of sympathy cards, diaries, and court records.
The possibilities are limitless! The Archives staff will work with you to develop assignments, provide instruction, and hold research times for your classes. Even if you only have a concept for an assignment or project, contact the Archives! We will be happy to work with you in developing and implementing course assignments and projects. We are also available to help with your own research as well as students conducting independent study projects.
Contact information: Deb Anderson, Archivist
Archives is located in Cofrin Library, Room 705