Join us for TPS Fest 2024: July 30, 31, August 1

This event webpage is the main public access point for sharing information about the schedule, updates, and all things TPS Fest 2024.

Do you teach with primary sources, or want to share and learn with other like-minded people with all levels and types of experience? Join your colleagues for an informative and fun event, with a variety of attendee-driven sessions or happenings, covering all aspects of Teaching with Primary Sources!

What is TPS Fest?

TPS Fest is an annual gathering — in person starting around 2014, and virtual since 2020 — of individuals who teach with primary source material and are interested in having conversations about doing more of that work.

This is a space for anyone who wants to learn and share with other like-minded people of ALL levels and types of experience. Graduate students and recent grads are absolutely welcome. For all of us, whether presenters or attendees (or both), our presence is our qualification.

TPS Fest sessions are largely practical. This is not a traditional conference with presentations; sessions are formatted to prioritize conversation and idea sharing. This might include reading and discussion groups; facilitated discussions; short demos or presentations followed by discussion; and more.

TPS Fest is (almost) infinitely expandable; the schedule is flexible to what people want to see happen and have the energy to organize.

Event Details

TPS Fest 2024 is July 30, 31, and August 1, 2024 (Tue, Wed, Thu)

Registration is free. Attend one session or all of them — you’ll register for any sessions you might want to attend (including concurrent sessions), and there is no limit on registrations.

Our schedule below will continue to evolve as those dates get closer; keep an eye below for more sessions to be added.

Recordings and Notes. TPS Fest sessions typically aren’t video recorded, although if a session includes a presentation portion, the presenters may request that their presentation only be recorded. Because most of the sessions lean towards discussion, we have found that a more appropriate form for recording is our shared notes document. After TPS Fest 2024, you’ll be able to check below in each session description for notes and recordings.

Tuesday, July 30th, 2024

Tuesday, 12-1pm ET / 11am-12pm CT / 10-11am MT / 9-10am PT

Universal Design for Learning and Primary Source Instruction
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Organized by: Colleen Hoelscher
Session description: This session will introduce attendees to the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a pedagogical framework to support accessible educational experiences for all learners. Attendees will apply the framework in a facilitated discussion to brainstorm ways that UDL can be implemented in their own primary source instruction practices.

Teaching and learning with fundraisers and donors
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Organized by: Lindsay Anderberg and Stephanie Schmitz
Session description: Donor gifts build our physical collections and may also provide funding to sustain archival work. Working with donors and with people in fundraising roles at our institutions requires a lot of educating on our part– an aspect of instruction which might be overlooked in the usual information literacy venues. Internal fundraising departments and external donors may not completely understand what archives are or what they do. This session will present the archivist’s role in providing archival literacy to donors as well as the archivist’s role in fundraising. The presenters will offer brief anecdotes and lessons learned, but moveover this is a session for all to discuss what we know, and what we wish we knew, about educating donors and grappling with fundraising.

Tuesday, 1:15-2:15pm ET/ 12:15-1:15pm CT /11:15am-12:15pm MT / 10:15-11:15am PT

A Toolkit for Successful Collaboration with Instructors
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Organized by: Clare Withers, Kirsten Paine and Diana Dill
Session description: Interested in a simple way to map to the Primary Source Literacy Guidelines that also facilitates increased collaboration with instructors about class visits? Presenters from an academic library and a cultural heritage organization will share a concise toolkit that contributes to more successful interactions with instructors and also facilitates successful integration of primary sources into teaching and learning. We’ll also demonstrate how it easily allows for assessment—understanding in tangible terms whether engagement activities support student learning.

Undergraduates as Curators: Fresh Approaches to Building Primary Source Literacy Skills
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Organized by: Scotty Beland, Lindsay Anderberg, Carolyn Runyon, and Miriam Intrator
Session description: Presenters will share their distinct approaches to engaging undergraduate students in curating exhibitions to cultivate primary source literacy learning skills, including: Undergraduate internship program to curate physical exhibitions from conception to installation; Development of guidelines and organized support for interns and student staff increasingly interested in creating digital exhibits based on project work; Scaffolded instruction sessions using primary source literacy learning objectives and high-impact practices to curate a reusable physical installation featuring archival resources; and, transforming students’ archival coursework into physical library exhibits by hiring students into Undergraduate Curator positions. Presenters will conclude with lessons learned along the way to developing sustainable and scalable methods to engage undergraduate researchers in exhibition development.

DEIA Practices when Teaching with Primary Sources: A Discussion
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Organized by: Marian Toledo and Anne Bahde
Session format: facilitated discussion
Session description: This discussion session will explore the different ways we advance DEIA principles in our TPS work. We will also envision ways to support our colleagues at institutions where these principles are not supported. We will welcome TPS practitioners to share examples of how DEIA can be achieved in TPS practice, and to explore the institutional impacts of this work.

Tuesday, 2:30-4pm ET/ 1:30-3pm CT/ 12:30-2pm MT/ 11:30am-1pm PT

Class Visit Scheduling Protocols: Let’s Talk Tactics!
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Organized by: Kira Dietz
Session format: facilitated discussion
Session description: Inspired by some 2023 conversation on the TPS listserv, this will be a facilitated conversation about how you or your organization handle requests for class visits. We’ll have some prompt questions and plenty of time to share! Attending this session does not require participation–we encourage you to join if you just want to listen and learn, if you have some pointers on what works (and what doesn’t), or if you’re inspired to share in the moment. Note: This session is only expected to run about 75 min, but the facilitator is flexible, and can go longer if there’s lots of interest.

TPS Outside the Humanities
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Organized by: Katie Banks, Evan Spencer, Anu Kasarabada, Lindsay Anderberg, Jo Otremba
Session format: Presentations followed by discussion
Session description: This panel will consist of four ten-minute presentations on a variety of ways practitioners of TPS have worked outside the humanities. Presentations will cover work with STEM classes, history of science and technology classes, and social work classes. After the presenters finish, we will open up for discussion.

Inspiration from Museums: Pedagogy for Primary Source Exhibitions
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Organized by: Julie Grob, Jenny Swadosh, and Miriam Intrator
Session format: a mix of presentation and discussion
Session description: What can TPS practitioners learn from museum educators? Inspired by the final report of a three-year, grant funded project spanning museums at four neighboring universities and colleges, this session will highlight lessons learned from Teaching and Learning with Museum Exhibitions: Innovations across the Disciplines. It will also explore how these findings could be adapted to archives and special collections contexts. Let’s think through our primary source exhibition teaching challenges together and consider how we can better integrate pedagogy into our exhibitions and apply knowledge from a related discipline to our specific teaching environments.

Wednesday, July 31st

Wednesday, 12-1pm ET / 11am-12pm CT / 10-11am MT / 9-10am PT

Teaching & Making with Primary Sources
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Organized by: Michele Jennings, Miriam Intrator, Greta Suitor, and Blake Spitz
Session format: Presentation with Q&A
Session Description: This session will explore how primary source literacy sessions inspire creative and historical projects, blending traditional special collections instruction and learning through making. Our examples include projects from studio art and design, data visualization, and local history, and feature ideas and inspiration at all stages–from works in progress to well established projects

Partnering with Maker Spaces in Special Collections Teaching
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Organized by: Evan Spencer, Lindsay Anderberg, Lynda Kachurek
Session format: mix of presentations & discussions
Session Description: In recent years, the integration of maker spaces into educational settings has transformed traditional teaching methods across disciplines. This session delves into the innovative intersection of maker spaces and special collections teaching, highlighting the transformative impact on student learning and engagement. This panel will explore how maker spaces, equipped with cutting-edge technologies and tools, can enhance the experiential learning opportunities offered by special collections. From 3D printing historical artifacts to creating interactive printing and book structures, these collaborations foster creativity and critical thinking among students. Through case studies and practical examples, participants will discover effective strategies for getting started and integrating maker space activities into special collections teaching. Emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches, we will discuss how these partnerships enrich curriculum development and support diverse learning objectives to help redefine how we engage with and interpret historical and cultural materials in the classroom.

Reclaiming Time: Tools and Methods for Streamlining Instruction
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Organized by: Liz Bloodworth and Anne Bahde
Session format: A mix of presentations and discussions
Session Description: This session will provide an overview of two tools developed to save time when preparing for or conducting archival instruction sessions. Thinking of our teaching work as related, interchangeable elements allows TPS practitioners to be more efficient with valuable prep time. The first presentation will introduce a comprehensive instructional database structure that combines elements such as classes, partners, PSL Guidelines, skills and concepts, activities, assignments, learning objects, materials, and more to streamline instructional development and delivery. Implementing pre-work exercises allows archivists to free up time during one-shot instruction sessions. The second portion of the session will focus on the creation of an LMS module as a primer to archives visits to foster a more active learning environment during time-constrained class periods. Following the presentations on these two tools, we will open the floor to questions and discussion of other time-saving tools implemented by audience members.

Wednesday, 1:15-2:15pm ET/ 12:15-1:15pm CT /11:15am-12:15pm MT / 10:15-11:15am PT

Lasso that Unicorn: Advocating for High-Impact Special Collections Internships
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Organized by: Carol Street
Session Description: Advocating for a new program that costs money is often like trying to capture an elusive unicorn, which is to say it feels impossible. This session will discuss advocating for high-impact undergraduate research internships, and can be broadened to talk about advocating for any new program at your institution. Using the Learning Lab at the University of Kentucky, a well-established program with eight years of relevant data, as an example, discussion could follow program goals, expenses, student outcomes, benefits to the institution, and other subjects related to advocating for a new program at your institution.

Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy: What you Want to See in the Coming Updates
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Organized by: Katie Banks
Session format: Facilitated discussion
Session Description: An open discussion about what you would like to see in the upcoming revisions to the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy. Bring your questions, things you like about the current guidelines, things you would like to see change, and any other thoughts you may have. Katie Banks, the TPS Co-Chair for SAA RAO, will be facilitating. Read the current Guidelines by clicking here.

Notes from the Field: Reading, Writing, and Reviewing the TPS Blog
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Organized by: Joe Lueck and Anastasia Armendariz
Session Description: In this discussion session, members of the Notes from the Field editorial team will overview how to read, write, and review for Notes from the Field. The editors will answer any questions about how to get involved and then lead a discussion on topics members of the TPS community are interested in reading or writing about in the upcoming year. Bring your ideas!
Notes from the Field, the TPS blog, highlights practical lessons from the front lines of teaching with primary sources in thematic series of open 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.

Wednesday, 2:30-4pm ET/ 1:30-3pm CT/ 12:30-2pm MT/ 11:30am-1pm PT

Box, Folder, Fonds…Teaching Archival Literacy
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Organized by: Emily Anne Beran, Melissa Chim, Samantha Dodd Summerbell, and Jill Piekut Roy
Session format: Facilitated discussion (Moderated panel + Audience facilitated discussion)
Session Description: Who’s out there emphasizing finding aids, boxes, folders, context, research methods, and professional practice in their regular instruction sessions (or other instruction)? Panelists will discuss their developing and successful efforts to teach archival literacy alongside primary source literacy in various college and university learning environments.

What’s in Your Toolbag? Sharing Organization/Participation Tools, Techniques, and Tips for the Classroom
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Organized by: Kira Dietz
Session format: facilitated discussion
Session Description: In some behind-the-scene TPS Fest planning conversations, someone raised the question, “what’s your favorite tool for organizing or encouraging participation in the classroom?” This session will be a facilitated discussion to talk about our favorite tools, techniques, and tips for encourging classroom participation in instruction, as well as what we might use as instructors to organize. Love Jamboard? Can’t get through an instruction session without PollEverywhere? Start every session with a meme-style check in? Let’s talk about! Attendees are encouraged to think about some of their favorite tools and tips. Active participation is not required; feel free to just come and listen. Time and access available, we may look at some tools in action, too.
Note: This session is only expected to run about 60 min, but the facilitator is flexible, and can go longer if there’s lots of interest.

Thursday, August 1, 2024

Thursday, 12-1pm ET / 11am-12pm CT / 10-11am MT / 9-10am PT

Trading Spaces: A discussion on designing and making do in our teaching spaces
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Organized by: Emily Beran
Session Description: What do you love about your library instruction spaces? What elements would you change or trade out if the opportunity presented itself? Building on an informal conversation in the list-serv earlier this year, this open discussion will give us an opportunity to think about how our spaces influence our instruction services and what solutions or ideas our community has for making these spaces work better for us.

K-12 Students in Archives and Special Collections
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Organized by: Blake Spitz, Elizabeth Riordan, Evan Spencer, and Helen Joannides
Session Description: Introducing younger populations to archives, both the collections and the places that house those collections, is a great way to demystify archival and special collections while also exposing the work archivists do. In four different talks, presenters will address successes and difficulties with instruction, outreach, and engagement with young students and class groups, who may not be their repositories’ typical visitors. The panel will provide insight into how presenters (try to!) engage younger audiences — making archival sources on slavery at the Cape accessible to South African Grade 10 students; teaching elementary school students about medieval bookmaking and readership; interrogating the papers of writer and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois with 4-8th grade students from his home town, and engaging 5th grade classes in a cartographic print-making activity — and explain why this work matters to the students and to our profession.

AI-Supported History and Social Studies Teaching: Personalized and Interactive Education with Primary Sources
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Organized by: Seval Hallaç
Session Description: This session will explain how to make social studies and history lessons more effective using AI support and how to produce content by using primary sources. Seval Hallaç will briefly talk about how AI is used in education and discuss the role of AI in providing personalized and interactive education in lessons. Seval will explain how to plan social studies and history lessons with AI support, including AI-supported tools and platforms (e.g., ChatGPT, AI-based educational applications) and discuss the importance of primary sources in education and how AI can help analyze these sources and generate insights. This presentation will include a short lesson plan example: topic selection, choosing primary sources, creating content with AI, student engagement, and assessment methods, and will explore student engagement and participation.

Thursday, 1:15-2:15pm ET/ 12:15-1:15pm CT /11:15am-12:15pm MT / 10:15-11:15am PT

Article Discussion Group
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Organized by: Katie Banks and Jenny Swadosh
Session format: Facilitated discussion
Session Description: Join us for a discussion of the article “TTYL: Designing Text-Message Based Instruction for Primary Source Literacy” (ACRL 2023) by Lisa Duncan, Mary Feeney, Yvonne Mery, and Niamh Wallace (click here for a free copy). We ask that you read the freely accessible article before this session and come ready to discuss this article. We will provide questions and prompts for you to think about, but we welcome any insights and discussions this may lead to. All practitioners of TPS are welcome!

“Brown Bag Lunch” for Graduate Students and Early Career Professionals
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Facilitated by Kelsey Brown and others from the TPS Outreach group.
A semi-structured conversation session for graduate students, early career professionals, and anyone new to TPSing. A place to discuss the Fest, Q&A space for interested graduate students and current teachers with primary sources, and to foster connections with peers. Learners, lurkers, leaders all welcome! (BYO snacks!)

Music is the Ear Experience: Collaborative Instruction with Music Special Collections
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Organized by: Mandi Shepp and Katelynn Telford
Session format: Presentation followed by discussion, demonstration, and an activity
Session description: Music primary sources can be challenging to incorporate into instruction sessions but are essential for library instruction at a school with a renowned music curriculum. This session discusses the variety of ways that we have been able to include primary music sources, exhibits, scores, and musical objects in several music library instruction sessions at both undergraduate and graduate levels as well as specialized performer workshops.

Thursday, 2:30-4pm ET/ 1:30-3pm CT/ 12:30-2pm MT/ 11:30am-1pm PT

TPS After Hours
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Organized by: Jen Hoyer
Session Description: Are there conversations you want to continue from previous sessions at TPS Fest? Ideas you’d hoped to talk about but haven’t had an opportunity yet? Join us for TPS After Hours! This will be an open discussion session with a moderator; we’ll check in on what attendees want to talk about and we’ll work as a group to figure out the best ways to have those conversations during this 90 minute session. That may involve small group discussion in breakout rooms, larger group discussions, or something else. Come find out with us!

Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion

Our DEIA working group has put together a toolkit for TPS Fest presenters and facilitators to use, and we’re sharing that here for our community as well. Access the toolkit as a Google doc or as a PDF.

How can you get involved?

This event only happens because of volunteers and attendees like you. That means:

  • newcomers
  • experienced professionals
  • students
  • YOU

As we get closer to TPS Fest, we’re looking for volunteers to help out with zoom, with chat moderation, and with notetaking for each session. Interested in helping or learning more? Email

Who is the community that makes this happen?

The TPS Fest is loosely organized by people connected to the TPS Collective, which has fairly clear connections to groups like the Society of American Archivists and RBMS and less clear connections to lots of other organizations. TPS Fest is organized by people like YOU!

As a community, we’re working from a set of community values that we developed and posted on this webpage: 

TPS Fest 2024 is generously co-supported the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ALA-ACRL, the Society of American Archivists, and many many volunteers from the thriving TPS Community.

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