Digital Public History: Community Connections and Collaborative Teaching Initiatives
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Designing community and user engagement with digital collections and supporting technologies in outreach and collection enhancement programs, as well as courses, can yield strong educational partnerships and high levels of community participation. Presenters from four institutions will describe distinct projects with strong community/student/user engagement with digital collections.Georgia State University Librarians, Joseph Hurley and Kathryn Michaelis presented "Engaging Students in their Local Environment through the Planning Atlanta Digital Collection." “Planning Atlanta: A New City in the Making, 1930s – 1990s,” a new and innovative digital collection of city planning maps, photographs, city planning publications, local population and housing datasets, and oral histories, provides a vivid portrait of the city’s built environment and depicts structural conditions of buildings, segregated neighborhoods, and land use patterns. All maps can be viewed in Google Maps and Google Earth. Students, educators, and the public are discovering new connections about Atlanta’s built and social environment and are changing their perception of Atlanta in ways that would not be possible without the aid of this digital collection.University of Iowa Librarians Jen Wolfe and Matthew Butler presented "Crowdsourcing in the Classroom: Developing a Digital Humanities Curriculum Project for Undergraduates." The University of Iowa presents a successful case study that integrates DIY History, its collaborative manuscript transcription project, into first-year Rhetoric courses. In partnership with faculty, librarians helped develop a curriculum module that teaches research, writing, and presentations skills through a series of assignments incorporating digital tools and methods. Over a four-week period, undergraduate students transcribe a handwritten letter or diary entry online, research its historic context, and perform a rhetorical analysis of its content; they then share their findings via blog post essays, open-access video screencasts, and a public presentation.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Librarian Sarah Shreeves moderated the session, and her colleagues Harriett Green and Christine D'Arpa presented "Digital Public History and Collaborative Teaching Initiatives." This presentation discusses and critically examines the experience of collaboration between students, instructor, librarians, and archivists for a course on digital public history (DPH) offered to library and information science students. Students approached the study of DPH wearing two hats as scholars/researchers and as LIS professionals, and the physical and virtual manifestations of the UIUC library and the LIS professionals were essential to the success of the course.University of California, Los Angeles Librarians Todd Grappone, Sharon Farb, Martin Klein and Jennifer Weintraub presented "Community connections: from International to hyper-local. Mixing social and mobile with local and international collections for new perspectives on research collections and connections." UCLA has partnered with international political activists and our community to develop a unique assemblage of ephemera as well as more traditional collections from sites of conflict and revolutionary movements around the world as well as from our own city. This confluence of collections, scholars and community offer a unique opportunity to create interfaces for discussing perspective, how diasporic digital library collections sparks interest and insider descriptions that are authentic record of history.