The American Archivist
In recent years, several publications for archivists and librarians have centered on teaching with primary sources,1 usually archival and special collections materials. Yet, there is still ample room within the literature for Engaging Undergraduates in Primary Source Research, edited by Lijuan Xu. This collection of ten case studies builds upon previous literature, but a few characteristics set it apart from other works on the subject. First, Xu explains in the introduction that much of the existing literature within the archives and library fields focuses only on “the pedagogical significance of special collections and archives and tends to equate primary source research with doing archival research” (p. ix). Xu further explains that “to leverage the wealth of primary sources and to explore the full potential of primary sources in the undergraduate classroom, it is imperative that the conversation include faculty members as well as librarians outside special collections and archives” (p. ix). Therefore, each chapter is coauthored by librarians, archivists, and teaching faculty members involved in the collaborative teaching endeavor. The volume also shows how disciplines including music history, gender and sexuality studies, political science, and environmental policy can employ primary sources to teach transferable skills such as information literacy and communication with diverse audiences.
Society of American Archivists
Kayla Harris (0000-0002-1672-3022) (2023).
Review: Engaging Undergraduates in Primary Source Research. The American Archivist.