by Claire Strom and Rachel Walton
This case study, from a small liberal arts college in Florida, examines to what extent thoughtful integration of different archival experiences at various stages in undergraduate learning equips history majors with a range of critical primary source literacy skills. The instructors/authors scaffolded a set of archival research assignments that progressed through a 200 and 400-level history course and then assessed five different primary source literacy learning objectives across both courses based on student work products. They also surveyed students to gather insights about the students’ archival research experiences. Their assessment demonstrated that the archives-classroom integrations and the scaffolding of archives-based research assignments across courses, provided students the opportunity to develop a diverse and useful toolkit of primary source literacy skills. In addition, students expressed an unprecedented enthusiasm for their research projects in these courses, an unexpected but invaluable benefit.