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Archival Instruction at ASU Library

Resource for ASU faculty, staff, and community partners to learn about archival instruction opportunities at ASU Library

Archival Instruction Toolkit [AIT]

The Guide to AIT is an introduction for faculty and interested community partners to our Introduction to the Archives 101 and 102 Archival Instruction Toolkit.

Archives 101 is our bibliographic instruction session that provides a clear introduction to the fundamentals of archives. What is an archives? What is an archivist? These are the first questions we use to initiate conversation in the session.

Archives 102 is our archival research instruction session which works to build on the information from the bibliographic instruction session. This lesson plan focuses on information literacy and using primary sources in critical inquiry. Topics range from what is a primary, secondary, and tertiary source, to the differences between digital surrogates and original records and how they are described.

These plans can be customized to specific topics or class requirements. They are deliberately flexible to encourage collaboration between ASU Library archives staff and ASU community partners to support students engaging learning objections and achieving desired outcomes. 

Archives 101

Introduction to Distinctive Collections and Archives at ASU Library 

Session Summary: 

This instructional session will introduce undergraduate students to Distinctive Collections and Archives. Students will learn about collections, basic procedures for identifying and accessing material, and develop basic research strategies utilizing the resources available through the ASU Library. Students will learn basic archival terminology and explore strategies to overcome perceived and real barriers to access and discoverability to fortify their academic inquiries and course work. 

Learning Objectives & Outcomes:

  • Understand access and use procedures for archival collections at ASU Library
  • Discovery and use of archival collections
  • Become familiar with general archives terminology to apply outside of ASU

Target Audience:

Content is focused on first and second year undergraduates; however, students of all levels and disciplines are encouraged to develop an understanding of basic archival concepts and terms and how archival resources are discovered and accessed.

Archives 102

Introduction to Archival Research at ASU Library

Session Summary:

This instructional session will encourage undergraduate students to engage with primary sources as an interdisciplinary scholarly research tool. Students will utilize the resources available through the ASU Library to develop skills on how to use primary source materials for personal or directed research. By reinforcing information literacy skills and encouraging critical analysis, students will learn how to formulate historical questions from encounters with historical documents, objects, and materials.

Learning Objectives & Outcomes:

  • Information Literacy
    • Use appropriate, efficient, and effective search strategies to discover primary sources.
    • Identify and distinguish between catalogs, databases, and other online resources. 
    • Be familiar with the most common ways primary sources are described, such as catalog records and archival finding aids.
    • Evaluate the appropriateness of a primary source for meeting the goals of a specific research or creative project.
  • Critical Assessment
    • Identify and communicate information found in primary sources, including summarizing the content of the source and identifying key components such as how it was created, by whom, when, and what it is.
    • Critically evaluate the perspective of the creator(s) of a primary source, including tone,subjectivity, and biases, and consider how these relate to the original purpose(s) and audience(s) of the source.
    • Examine and synthesize a variety of sources in order to construct, support, or dispute a research argument.

Target Audience:

Content is focused on first and second year undergraduates; however, students of all levels and disciplines are encouraged to develop an understanding of what primary sources are, why use them, and how they are used in research.

How to Schedule Instruction

If you have questions about the Toolkit or an interest in engaging archival instruction in your class please contact Allinston SaulsberryClaudia Willett, or Julie Tanaka for more information.

For general Archives and Distinctive Collections inquiries contact Ask an Archivist

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.