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Studies in Southwest Literature [DRAFT]

Before class preparation/set up


  • 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

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

Students 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 the collection. TIP: As students gather records, they should keep good notes on provenance, so that records can be retrieved later on. Students will submit a list of records with URLs and pinned images, if possible, along with their bibliographies.

Part II

Students devise a bibliography of findings, tailoring their citations to Chicago Manual of Style and bearing in mind the need to reflect the diversity of content and format.  Note: Students' searches should yield 18 items, but the bibliography need only contain 15 citations. Choose based on the research question, or include all that is discovered.