The last decade has seen a large proliferation of online archives, giving more researchers more access to more primary sources than ever before. At the same time, researchers often are no longer physically handling materials, and are instead relying on digital facsimiles. While this shift has opened exciting new areas of research, it has also changed how the concept of “primary sources” is first presented to undergraduate students.
This talk session would focus on pedagogies for introducing primary sources to new undergraduate researchers. For instance, should such an introduction still include bringing materials into class or arranging a visit to a library’s special collections? Or is viewing a scanned document enough of an experience? In the event physically handling materials isn’t possible, what alternatives exist for giving students a better understanding of what it means for something to be an “artifact”?