Resources for Faculty
The Maine Women Writers Collection offers many options to enhance teaching in the classroom. Primary source materials engage students in active learning and help them to gain a unique perspective on their research. We can provide an overview of archives and special collections research, or build an entire course around archives-based work.
Introduction to Archives
This session can happen in the classroom or in the archives. We will give an overview of the MWWC holdings, demonstrate how to use a finding aid to learn more about our collections, and then facilitate a hands-on exploration of documents. We can select materials specific to your course or use a specific document type (i.e., correspondence) to help students explore ideas.
Class Research Visit
We can provide whole collections or groups of materials for students to explore during class time. Usually, these sessions take place either in the MWWC or at the Ketchum Library, though we will work with you to best accommodate your class needs. Research visits allow students to spend time exploring the nature of archival collections or published materials. Students are encouraged to ask questions with guided activities (designed by MWWC staff or in collaboration with faculty), and we discuss research skills for primary sources.
Want to have someone visit your class to talk about a specific topic? We are happy to create a focused lecture that will fit into your course design.
One of the most rewarding outcomes of archival instruction happens when faculty and archives staff collaborate on course design. We have worked with faculty to create multi-class units on a subject and have been embedded in courses to help support students in engaging with primary sources. If you have questions about what is possible, we would be happy to brainstorm about how primary sources can support your course learning outcomes.
Elizabeth DeWolfe’s Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies class participated in a Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon, creating pages for women of note. Many Maine women were highlighted in this project, with students using the MWWC to do primary source research. WikiEdu highlighted the project on their blog.
Jennifer Tuttle’s Writing and Women’s Health course offered students the option to write their analytical essay on primary sources in the MWWC. Students wrote about a variety of items, from Abraham Myerson’s The Nervous Housewife (1920) to May Sarton’s journals. Many of the students focused on artist’s books in which Martha Hall explored her experience with breast cancer.
Students in ENV 104 classes were offered instruction in drawing skills, had the opportunity to meet book artist Rebecca Goodale and explored many of her books about Maine’s threatened and endangered plants. Throughout the semester, students worked on their own ecological observation booklets and created a final book to be exhibited in the Jack Ketchum Library on the Biddeford campus. This fusion of arts and science offered students new ways of looking at their environment and provided a unique forum for building observation skills and confidence.
UNE Graduate Joseph Gousse completed a portion of the research for his thesis “Institutionalized Racism and the Politics of Justice: Disproportional Incarceration of Native Americans in the State of Maine” using the Donna M. Loring papers. As the first student to use this rich collection, Joseph had the opportunity to speak directly to Donna Loring about his thesis and gained important insights using materials written by Maine’s tribal leaders.