Vials of healing water from Marian shrines, flowers collected at holy sites, and images of statues that miraculously cry—these objects are just a few of the striking, unusual, and often underused artifacts and archival materials documenting religious experiences found in the University of Dayton’s archives and special collections.
These engaging items, while often controversial in nature, can serve as powerful teaching tools to engage undergraduates. When an opportunity arose to partner with a religious studies faculty member, the University of Dayton’s archivists and librarians used these artifacts to develop an instruction session that offered students an opportunity for active, hands-on learning with archival collections while meeting course learning outcomes.
Copyright 2019, the Authors
Society of American Archivists
Kayla Harris (0000-0002-1672-3022), Jillian M. Ewalt (0000-0003-0805-3097), and Stephanie Shreffler (0000-0002-2147-7495) (2019).
Miracles and Madness: Teaching with Religious Special Collections. Archival Outlook.
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