Discovery through Cultural Memory: undergraduates in the Archives
In the past few years, university libraries across North America have begun taking steps to introduce undergraduates to archival research. At the E.J. Pratt Library at Victoria University (in the University of Toronto), staff assists students in the VIC184 Cultural Memory Project, a course assignment that requires students in the first year of university to work with a collection of archival papers towards producing an oral report and a final paper at the end of the academic term. The learning outcomes in this process allow for the transformation of the undergraduate from a receptor of secondary sources to a ―knowledge creator‖: Students in VIC184 rely on primary source documents in the archives to form their ideas of the person who they have selected to research. Library staff plays a fully active role in the course from providing instruction in accessing and using archival materials and learning along with the students about the individuals whose lives are explored.