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Studies in Southwest Literature [DRAFT FOR REVIEW]

Before class preparation/set up

Library of Congress digital collections:

Tools Needed


Discuss difference between digitized archival materials and digital collections. Introduce Library of Congress and provide overview of digital collections platform. Demonstrate searching and refining searches with filters or keyword modifications. Introduce descriptive records and demonstrate how to use/understand.


Part I

You are to create an (artificial) collection from among the Library of Congress American Memory Project holdings. Your collection will be gathered from records in existing collections (as with Pinterest, but not “pinned”). 

You should select a total of 18 records, which must include no fewer than: 

  • one holographic (handwritten) letter 
  • two maps
  • one government document (census, treaty, law, building code, policy document, military record, etc.)
  • five photographs
  • one material object
  • one moving image record, if temporally appropriate (that is, it should be an original record from the timeframe of your project, not a retrospective or distilled 

The remainder may be traditional print documents, visual materials, or artifacts. Choose a topic for your collection. You are welcome to consult with me about this choice: I’m happy to talk over ideas or suggest topics based on your career or avocational interests. TIP: As you are gathering your records, keep good notes on provenance, so records can be retrieved later on. You will submit a list of records with URLs and pinned images, if possible, along with your bibliography

Part II

Devise a bibliography of your findings, tailoring your citations to CMS 17th and bearing in mind the need to reflect the diversity of content and format.  Note: Your search should yield 18 items, but the bibliography need only contain 15 citations. Choose based on your research question, or include all that you discover.