TPS Expo Washington DC 2018! Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference and Workshops – August 14, 2018

SAA 2018 Meeting logo

Library of Congress book logo
SAA RAO Section logo
Digital Public Library of America logo
Generously hosted by Library of Congress, timed to coincide with the 2018 Society of American Archivists annual conference, and sponsored by the SAA Reference, Access and Outreach Section and Digital Public Library of America (and their rich education resources).

Yes, we’re planning another Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference in July 2019 in Austin TX! Details at

What did we learned in 2018? Check out the Zine 2018 for the TPS Unconference »
(Freshened up April 2019! Woo!)

Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) & TeachWithStuff Activities Year-Round
1: Keep these conversations going year-round: #TeachwStuff Twitter Chats every 4‑8 weeks. Join us for the next one on Wed Oct 10 at 7pm Eastern / 4pm Pacific!.
2: The biggest-ever TPS-focused symposium is coming up in November at University of Michigan — details on this free event »
3: Have something TPS-related going on, contact if you want to work together — this is a great community of educators!
4: TPS Unconference 2019? We hope so! If you’re from Austin, Texas and want to help find a venue for next year’s TPS Unconference, contact

Break-out Session Discussion Topics (decided upon day-of)
• TPS in college and university settings (split into 4 sub-discussions)
• TPS outside formal education (community, museums, etc)
• Creating lesson plans
• Primary sources online
• TPS beyond the Humanities
• Collaboration between archivists and teachers
• Leveraging local history
• Creative assignment design
• Assessment
• Primary sources in support of information literacy
• TPS strategies for large groups
• Beyond show & tell: Embedding primary sources in curriculum
• Teaching diversity & intersectionality; Coping with archival silences; Archival ethics

Downloads related to day’s activities
• Sherry Levitt’s hands-on active learning TPS activities (AM session) – slides (pdf)
• Grace Leatherman’s presentation (AM session) – slides (pptx)
• Lauren Algee’s Crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress (AM session) – slides (pptx or pdf)

Here’s who attended »

TPS Unconferences: Whether you think of yourself as a teacher, museum educator, librarian, student, archives educator, administrator, or some other calling — or if you don’t have experience but want real-life exposure — this event is a great way to share ideas and learn with like-minded people. Hey you Archivists: Tell your non-archivist teaching friends!

ATTENTION – GETTING THERE: The DC Metro subway is under construction. Add plenty of extra time to get to the LC Madison Building — See Transit Tips below
When: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 from 9:00am – 4:00pm
(but you may drop-in & drop-out at will throughout the day)
Where: Library of Congress (LC), Madison Building,
6th Floor, Montpelier Room
(Yellow Corridor, Room LM-619).
If you enter the building through the main entrance, we’re on the 6th floor in the back-right corner (very near the cafeteria).
Map & Directions: The Library of Congress Madison Building is not the “Main” LC Jefferson Building, but located a block south, with an entrance on Independence Avenue SE between 1st & 2nd Streets – map | streetview | LC campus map. The event will take place on the 6th Floor of Madison Building.
Security Checkpoint: When you enter the LC Madison Building, you’ll need to walk through a scanner and have your bag x-rayed. There are bag size limitations. More details here.
Cost: FREE!  You are responsible for your own beverages & lunch
Registration: Wait List is in effect
Public Transit: NOTE! The DC Metro subway is under construction, so you will need to add extra time to get to the event. See Transit Tips below
Parking: Parking details here.
Food, Coffee & Beverages! : No food or drink is provided at this (free) event. If you haven’t grabbed coffee by the time you arrive at the Madison Building, the 6th Floor Cafeteria is on the same floor as the rest of the day’s activities (floor map). The cafeteria will also be the easiest place to get lunch…and to continue chatting with other attendees over lunch break! Bring your food back to the Montpelier Room.
Nursing Mothers: If you need to pump during the day, please go to Room LM-G40, the Health Services area in the Blue Corridor on the Ground Floor of our building (Madison Bldg, see floor map). This is in the exact opposite corner from the Montpelier Room, on the Ground Floor, near a small security-checkpoint-looking station. Best bet is to take the Yellow Core elevators (around the corner from Montpelier Room), down to the Ground Floor, then walk all the way around to the opposite corner of the building.
Bathrooms: Multiple bathrooms are available close to our meeting rooms. Library of Congress does not currently offer gender neutral bathrooms.
Event WiFi at LC: Select the LOCGUEST wireless network. You may be prompted to approve the connection/user-agreement. You should open a web browser to verify that you’re online. You shouldn’t have to enter a password, submit your email address, etc. Any problems, ask people around you or check at the registration desk.
Hashtag:   #TeachwStuff   (on twitter)  |  Please also show appreciation for our wonderful host by tagging @TeachingLC

EVENT SCHEDULE – More detailed schedule available day-of-event
9:00 – 9:15am: Registration – 6th Floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress , Washington DC (details above)
9:15 – 9:30: Welcome & Intro to Unconference
9:30 – 11:00: Part 1: Featuring Rebecca Newland and Matthew Poth (LC Teachers in Residence); Part 2: Featuring Sherry Levitt and Grace Leatherman (LC-TPS Program Coordinators) — presentation slides; all with Danna Bell moderating. Includes audience Q&A.
11:00 – 11:15: Break
11:15 – 11:30: Vote on Open Discussion Break-out Sessions that will take place for the rest of the day
11:30am – 12:00pm: Icebreaker activity at tables.
During this block, the schedule will be shared for attendees to plan out your day.
12:00 – 1:00: Break-out Sessions — 3 or more concurrent
1:00 – 2:00: Lunch (bring/buy-your-own). The easist option will be to use the LC Cafeteria (on our same floor) and return to the Montpelier Room. You are free to go out and acquire something (grab-and-go probably best) in the neighborhood around LC.
2:00 – 3:00: Break-out Sessions — 3 or more concurrent
3:00 – 4:00: Break-out Sessions — 3 or more concurrent
4:30 till you drop: Continue the discussions at an Optional Happy Hour nearby at Capitol Lounge (about a block away at 229 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 — no reservation needed)

Respect each other. Some of these conversations may lead to strong, opposing viewpoints, but we demand that you maintain a collegial regard for others and their opinions. Expect and demand this of others as well. This is a day for sharing ideas, so don’t screw it up! Please report disrespectful behavior to event organizers (at registration desk).

Additional Details

TRANSIT TIPS — Bypassing DC Metro Construction
The DC Metro subway system is undergoing major construction. Add plenty of extra time to get to the event.
DC Transit (WMATA) Status/Alerts page | DC Metro Map (PDF)
Orange and Silver Lines warning: These are the lines that would get you closest to the LC Madison Building.
HOWEVER, they’ll be running on a limited schedule and subject to delays & overcrowding, so you may want to avoid them entirely.
• Generally, consider using the Red, Yellow, or Green Lines if they work for your starting point, and walking from Union Station (Red Line) or L’Enfant Plaza station (Yellow/Green Lines).
• If you’re planning on taking the Red Line from the north/east (Silver Spring / Glenmont) give yourself extra time since you’ll have to transfer to a shuttle or Yellow/Green Line due to track closure. Details here. (Red Line isn’t affected coming from other end of the line…see point 1 below.)
More specific transit recommendations:
1: If coming from the Woodley Park area (SAA Conference hotel), take the Red Line to Union Station and walk to the LC Madison Building which is about a 20 minute walk. This section of the Red Line is not affected by the closure.
2: A 2nd option from SAA hotel: Take the DC Circulator. The Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square Metro bus stops at the bottom of the hill by the hotel. Take the Circulator to the Columbia Heights Metro and take the Green Line to L’Enfant Plaza. Then go down one level and take the Orange or Silver Line toward either New Carrolton or Largo to Capitol South, which is very close to the LC Madison Building. That avoids most of the problem section of the Orange and Silver Line.
3: Depending on where you’re starting, a DC Circulator bus may get you within ~20-min walking distance. They run every 10 minutes and cost $1. Circulator Interactive map or PDF Map.
4: Taxi/Uber/Lyft is always an option.

Huge thanks to the staff at Library of Congress for generously hosting this event!

Stay in Touch: Can’t wait for the day? Connect with like-minded individuals and receive updates by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter.  Our hashtag is #TeachwStuff

This free event is open to everyone interested in using primary source material for teaching, from all institutions and with all levels of experience. While it does fall during the Society of American Archivists annual meeting week, it’s a place where anyone from all backgrounds can get together help each other do better with this sort of beyond-the-textbook teaching.

Why should you be excited? » Check out what happened in 2017, 2016, and 2015.

Questions? Comments? Interested in running a workshop or volunteering day-of?
Want to get involved in the event organizing work? Want to offer up your space as a venue?!? (Yes, you do!)