This special issue of Archives and Records seeks to explore innovative pedagogical approaches to engagement with archival collections at higher education institutions. Of particular interest are submissions that explicate change through pedagogical practice in both institutional strategy and the engaged population. The issue aims to facilitate a dialogue between researchers, practitioners, archivists, curators, users, educators and scholars and to address questions such as the following:
- What are the most pressing pedagogical demands being placed on archival collections at higher education institutions and how has this impacted on short, medium and long term engagement strategies?
- How have archival teams attempted to engage with their target demographics and what successes have been achieved in the attraction of new audiences?
- How has pedagogical design been integrated into the development of existing and/or new engagement strategies?
- What are the technological challenges associated with such pedagogical engagement and how has fusion of traditional archival practice with pedagogical design enhanced the learning experience for all involved?
- How have archivist/teachers developed and embedded critical thinking and archival literacy skills into key partnerships for new impacts in teaching and learning?
- How have academic archive repositories expanded their user base into non-traditional user groups?
- How have material culture and digital pedagogies combined within the learning space?
- What has been the impact of the application of learning theory in practice on the archival teams?
- How can archival teams begin to think about supporting students across a wide variety of disciplines through pedagogical design and practice?
- What are the challenges that archival teams are facing in the future and how can relationships with educational/designers help to develop programmes that respond to the needs of the student population with a measurable impact?
Academic libraries are being refocused and repositioned within the traditional infrastructure of higher education and learning. Library and archive repositories are the engine room of such higher education institutions, fibrously connected to the objectives of impactful and innovative learning, teaching and research. Such archive resources support and inspire students in response to a wide variety of demands. Increasing pressure on academic libraries and archival collections in particular, to demonstrate impact, is prompting institutions to evaluate established practices, respond to demand and to plan for the future.
However, in the last thirty years these demands have changed along with a rapid, although not in parallel, evolution of technology, provoking debate amongst this community around how to pedagogically support engagement with collections with demonstrable output. New developments in pedagogical design for student engagement also predominate, responding to the need for the development of 21st century skills that students require to make a successful transition into employment. The digital archive is becoming ever-more integrated into the digital classroom – but what are the implications for this as regards learning through and with tangible objects and the physical record? The role of ‘archivist-as-teacher’ and mediator of the educational experience is taking greater prominence. The reading-room becomes an extension of the lecture theatre.
Current discourse and evidence places high prominence on transferable graduate attributes – those who can learn and work co-dependently as well as independently. Society today, owing to recent global economic and political changes, maintains a cautious position and distrust towards information and data. Documented evidence and testimony has become weaponised. The faculties of critical thinking, evaluation, analytical skills and academic/argumentative writing can be learnt directly from creative engagement with learning through encountering archive collections.
Academic libraries underpin such learning experiences and skills development through archive literacies. There is a need, therefore, to develop a better understanding of how the library and archival collections of higher education institutions can meet the expectations placed upon them while concomitantly meeting the expectations of increasingly dynamic pedagogical environments.
We invite papers on any aspect of pedagogical engagement with archival collections. Submissions to this special issue might consider, although are not limited to, the following themes:
- Archival collections and the educational practitioner
- The archivist and the 21st century student
- Archives and material culture in the digital era – learning through encountering
- Archival collections and technological enhanced learning experiences
- Pedagogical design for engagement with archival collections
- 21st century skill development in the archival environment
- Educational theory in archival practice
- Managing and facilitating pedagogical engagement with archives
- The impact of evolving technology on short, medium and long term planning
How to submit your paper
Prospective authors are invited to contact the Guest Editors, in order to discuss proposed articles for this special issue of Archives and Records which will be published in Spring 2020.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 31 November 2018. All submissions will be double blind peer-reviewed and should be presented in line with the Archives and Records Instructions for Authors.
The final deadline for article submissions is 30 June 2019.