Making an Impact: Creative Opportunities for Student Engagement with Special Collections

May, Meagan
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Student engagement with special collections and their materials can come in many forms, including assignment-driven research or projects, instruction sessions, exhibits, workshops, tours, and overviews of materials and services. Regardless of the method, opportunities for student engagement should be approached creatively and thoughtfully in order to capture student attention and interest while also showcasing the importance and relevance of the materials being researched or examined. This presentation will examine and discuss three different and distinct examples of student engagement using materials and collections owned by University of North Texas Special Collections. The first, a semester long grant funded project involving the university’s Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Fragment Collection, followed by an assignment using various archival collections as inspiration for art projects, and finally a one-shot instruction session and assignment designed to familiarize students with special collections materials and how to access them. The presentation will conclude with a brief look at how UNT Special Collections has continued and plans to continue to offer creative student engagement as classes and library services transition to remote delivery for the fall semester.

Presented at CTLC 2020