Teaching With Archives
The mission of the archives is pedagogical at its core. We do instruction for classes, collaborate with faculty on curriculum planning, and consult with students about their research. Our specialties include primary source and archival research, research in the Barnard Archives collections, personal digital archiving, and digital methods for historical inquiry. Archives staff liaise to the Barnard History department and American Studies program, but we support all Barnard departments and also partner with middle and high school classes as well as support extracurricular research for Barnard students. Please contact us at email@example.com if you're interested in teaching with archives.
We offer multiple tiers of instruction to fit your pedagogical needs:
An introduction to critical archival theory and research tailored to the learning objectives and topics of a course. Sessions typically include discussion around definitions of archives, an overview of archival labor and how archival collections are mediated, strategies for accessing archival materials, and an interactive document analysis workshop using materials from the Barnard Archives followed by discussion. We also offer one-class intros to finding and using primary sources (including but not limited to archival materials).
Examples of course collaborations involving one-class intro sessions have included:
- Urban Studies Junior Seminar
- American Studies Junior Colloquium, Senior Seminar, and electives
- History Senior Seminar and electives
- English Survey of American Literature, 1871-1945
- Political Science Research Methods
- Art History Art/Work: Sex, Aesthetics, and Capitalism
- Religion Indigenous Religious Histories
- Teacher’s College Historical Methods (graduate school class)
- Youth Historians in Harlem (high school class)
A more involved collaboration in curricular and syllabus planning, multiple instruction sessions, and projects structured around archival research, archival digitization, and/or digital humanities projects. Typically these embedded courses involve collaboration with our colleagues in the personal librarians program and in the Milstein Centers.
Examples of semester-long course collaborations have included:
A one-class or half-class long discussion of personal digital archiving and submitting work to Academic Commons, typically for graduating seniors. Sessions include a discussion of strategies for preserving personal and curricular digital materials, helpful tools, and how to submit to Academic Commons.
Collections for Teaching
Are you interested in teaching with materials from the Barnard Archives? Using our finding collections page, you can search for materials that fit your pedagogical goals and the topical area of your course. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more assistance, and we’ll be happy to recommend collections.
We offer research consultations to Barnard and Columbia students in American Studies and History courses, as well as any students doing primary source and/or archival research. We can also set up blocks of time for drop-ins or group consultations for your class; please contact us at email@example.com before adding this to your syllabus.
We also offer consultations to staff, faculty, and researchers doing research in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections and consult on archival and digital preservation questions.
Book a research consultation with Martha Tenney: https://marthalibrary.youcanbook.me/