New from ACRL: Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/01/2012

Contact:

David Free
Mktg & Comm. Specialist/Editor-in-Chief
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
1-800-545-2433 ext.2517
dfree@ala.org

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives,” edited by Eleanor Mitchell, Peggy Seiden and Suzy Taraba.

In the age of ubiquitous access to information, library special collections and archives have received renewed attention through digitization projects designed to share collections with the world at large. Yet these materials also offer opportunities for student learning though direct engagement with rare or unique items. While special collections and archives have largely been used by advanced researchers and scholars, an increasing number of undergraduate courses are taking advantage of these materials as guides in the instructional process.

Beyond “hands-on history,” courses from across the curriculum are enriched through assignments, experiences and activities that draw upon or incorporate local or unusual items, primary sources or material culture – particularly the book as art object or artifact. Through 47 detailed and compelling case studies, “Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives” explores a variety of successful instructional models featuring a wide range of engagement methods with special collections and archival materials. Instruction and special collections librarians will find plentiful inspiration for new collaborations in the collection. The work is also a perfect addition to professional development and library school collections.

“Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives” is available for purchase in print as an e-book, and as a print/ e-book bundle through the ALA Online Store; in print and for Kindle through Amazon.com; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

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ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at http://www.acrl.org/, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.