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Title: Using Digitized Historical Texas Newspapers to Engage Sociology Students in Local History
Authors: Krahmer, Ana
Scarborough, William
Fisher, Sarah Lynn
Keywords: Subject::Digital repositories
Subject::Research data repositories
Subject::Local history
Issue Date: 4-Sep-2023
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam;Satellite Meeting: Innovative approaches in engaging people with local history and genealogy
Abstract: In 2019, Dr. William Scarborough, Sociology professor at University of North Texas (UNT), developed and taught a Sociology course on intersectionality to undergraduate students. In this, he partnered with UNT Libraries to engage with primary sources, particularly newspaper collections, to conduct archival analysis related to the history of power, domination and resistance in Texas communities. Dr. Scarborough has offered this course a total of three times, and this has led to creating a digital collection of his students’ research projects on the Portal to Texas History. The U.S. South is infamous for its history of brutal slavery and Jim Crow racism. While the impact of these atrocities is observed through such contemporary inequalities as the racial wealth gap and residential racial segregation, few make the historical connection because local reports of past injustices are often forgotten or intentionally rendered invisible. Digital newspapers provide an important tool to correct these omissions. Reporting on a case study from a course at University of North Texas, this examines how students use digital newspapers to engage with primary sources and conduct archival analysis to unearth instances of racial violence, theft, and land dispossession in communities throughout Texas. In doing so, students become first-hand experts on how local histories are inherently connected to current social problems. This paper explores what has emerged from this partnership, offering examples of student work from these courses to show how the libraries have partnered with an academic department to preserve and build long-term access to this student research; demonstrating teaching strategies for conducting newspaper research; and closing with future plans for this collaboration. Keywords: Sociology, primary source research, digital repository, archival analysis.
Appears in Collections:World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) Materials

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