What is the TPS Collective?

The TPS Collective is the product of the energetic TPS Community. TPS stands for teaching with primary sources; people who come together under this categorization are self-selected and often work in fields such as archives, libraries, education, and museums.

Because the TPS Community draws members from varied professions, we want to clarify that our site uses the definition of primary sources in the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy. We recognize that community members may have different conceptions of primary source literacy, and we encourage people to share those ideas.

Interested in getting involved?
See the list of contacts at the bottom of the page!


The Community

These people make the TPS Collective a reality:

Learners, Lurkers, and Leaders

The non-hierarchical, peer mentorship structure of the TPS Community means that there is a role for every level of participation. Over time we have noticed that people come to the website and events to learn; stay to share, contribute, or connect; and begin to take leadership roles as they feel comfortable doing so. Many people fit into multiple categories and evolve their roles and participation level over time. 

Sandbox Team

The Sandbox Team plans hands-on, small group sessions to explore tech tools related to TPS. Tasks for helping to organize this work include scheduling, topic selection, outreach, and session hosting.

Community Calls Team

The Community Calls Team helps move planning forward for the TPS Community Calls, which are held about monthly and open to all. Tasks include facilitating session scheduling, topic selection, and recruiting for call roles.

Unconference Team

The TPS Unconference team plans regular TPS Unconference events. These are informal and fun half-day or day-long events featuring attendee-driven programming around TPS. Members of this team work on various committees related to program planning; venue organization; registration; marketing; and more.

Notes from the Field Editorial Team

Composed of a lead editor and two assistant editors, Notes from the Field Editorial Team currently oversees development of two series. Notes from the Field is a collaborative product between the TPS Collective and the RBMS Instruction and Outreach Committee. 

Website Development Team 

The Website Development Team designs and maintains the site, working with WordPress and liaising with contributors.

Facilitation Team

The TPS Collective Facilitation Team pursues professional development content, relationship building, and connection opportunities for the TPS Community. As point people for the TPS Collective areas, we seek deeper integration between the different professional organizations, institutions, and individuals doing TPS work. As grassroots volunteers, we seek to maintain a broad, flat, non-hierarchical approach in our work of facilitation, and we are not a governing body. This lack of structure is intentional and tied to our belief that the work of the community speaks for itself, but is dispersed and can benefit from coordinated idea and task sharing. 

See below for the 2020-21 TPS Collective Facilitation Team roster.


Community Values

The TPS Community has generated these values collectively to guide our practice. As a dynamic community, we acknowledge these values may evolve over time.

  • We will nurture and create a community that is inclusive of all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, or stage of professional development. We achieve this goal through our choices in language, tone, and general demeanor.
  • We will respect the variety of perspectives in our workspace, understanding that everyone brings unique experience that is valuable.
  • We will be mindful of the privacy of others when sharing back information we take from this group and will understand when colleagues in this workspace are limited in the information they can share.  
  • We will actively listen to fellow members and engage thoughtfully with one another.
  • We will be sensitive to the anxieties and concerns of our colleagues and offer solidarity and support wherever it is sought.
  • We understand that this group is meant to be enriching both professionally and socially, and we will maintain space for both fun and work. 


The Website

The Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Collective is an online hub that brings together resources, professional development and support for those who teach with primary sources, including librarians, archivists, teachers, cultural heritage professionals, and anyone who has an interest in using primary sources in an educational setting.

Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field highlights practical lessons from the front lines of teaching with primary sources in thematic series of blind peer-reviewed articles. These short articles explore the theory and practice of teaching with primary sources, broadly relating topics to educators and practitioners from all types of institutions, teaching all kinds of students. Currently, Notes from the Field offers articles in two series: Practical How-To and Reflective Practice. 

Teaching Tools and Readings

Produced by a wide array of TPS Community members, these tools include published case studies, sample lesson plans, and toolkits to help TPS practitioners create engaging experiences. The Teaching Tools Library in Zotero includes community-contributed lesson plans and digital sources, and the TPS Bibliography collects secondary literature in the field.

Teaching with Primary Sources Bibliography

The aim of this bibliography is to provide one place for easily finding academic, (mostly) peer-reviewed scholarship and conference presentations about teaching with primary sources from a variety of disciplines.


Have questions? Interested in getting involved, helping out, joining a working team, or have an idea for new resources? Contact a facilitator in your area of interest: 

Adriana Flores                      Community Calls Team          aflores [at] pugetsound.edu
Danielle Nista                        Community Calls Team         danielle.nista [at] nyu.edu
Claire Du Laney                     Community Calls Team         cdulaney [at] unomaha.edu
Alison Fraser                          Sandbox Team                        awfraser [at] buffalo.edu
John Henry Adams                Teaching Tools Library          j.adams [at] missouri.edu
Robin Katz                              General Facilitator                  robin.katz [at] ucr.edu
Matt Strandmark                  Webteam                                  mstrandmark [at] uky.edu
Carly Sentieri                         Notes from the Field              carly.sentieri [at] wisc.edu
Kelli Hansen                           Notes from the Field              kbhansen [at] missouri.edu
Maureen Maryanski             Notes from the Field              mmaryans [at] indiana.edu
Heather Smedberg               General Facilitator                  hsmedberg [at] ucsd.edu
Matt Herbison                       General Facilitator                  mh683 [at] drexel.edu
Anne Bahde                           General Facilitator                  anne.bahde [at] oregonstate.edu
Jen Hoyer                               Bibliography, Sandbox            JHoyer [at] citytech.cuny.edu

Email us at tpscollective [at] gmail.com to get a join link for the TPS-Collective Slack Channel

Join the TPS-Collective Listserv