Teaching with Digital Primary Sources

Wednesday, 9/22/2021
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

As records of firsthand accounts, primary sources reveal something about their creators and cultural context, which can lead to a transformative classroom experience in person or virtually. Over the last year and a half, librarians who teach with primary sources have been challenged to find new and inventive ways of enabling students to engage with primary sources virtually. This webcast with authors from ACRL’s Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook will explore the work of teaching with digital primary sources and discuss the challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for this type of teaching.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be able to define a digital primary source in order to distinguish it from other information resources.
  • Participants will identify different repositories for the search and discovery of digital primary sources, so that they will be able to incorporate digital primary sources into their instructional practice.
  • Participants will reflect on the challenges to teaching with primary sources presented by COVID-19, in order to collaboratively identify strategies for using digital primary sources to help mitigate these challenges.

Who Should Attend

Academic librarians with teaching and learning responsibilities and other information professionals who teach with primary sources.


Jenny Harris is an Assistant Professor of Library Administration and Education Librarian at Austin Peay State University’s Felix G. Woodward Library, where she also serves as library liaison to African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender and culture in the academic library, critical information literacy, and faculty and librarian collaborations.

Julie Porterfield serves the Penn State University Libraries as both the Instruction & Outreach Archivist for the Eberly Family Special Collections Library and the Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Librarian for circulating collections. She graduated with a MA in Global Women's History in from Seton Hall University in 2011 and a MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Her work focuses on women and feminism in archives, archival outreach to campus and community groups, and teaching archival and primary source literacies with critical pedagogical techniques.

Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh is the Archivist at Elizabethtown College, where she is responsible for all aspects of the Earl H. and Anita F. Hess Archives and Special Collections. She is a Certified Archivist and holds a BA in Art History from the University of Delaware and an MLIS in Archival Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Rachel is passionate about promoting the Hess Archives as a teaching and learning resource for the College community. She especially enjoys working directly with students and has taught courses on local history, archives, and digital humanities. Rachel has previously presented and published on instruction, outreach, and lone arranger topics.

Nicole Wood is an Assistant Professor of Library Administration and the Resource Management Librarian at Austin Peay State University, where she oversees the development, assessment, and management of the library’s monographs and serials collections. She also serves as the Government Publications Coordinator and the Library Liaison to the APSU Department of History and Philosophy. Her research interests include primary-source pedagogy, radical cataloging, and advocacy for low-income students.



ACRL member: $50
ALA member: $75
Nonmember: $90
Student: $40
Group*: $295

*DURING THIS TIME OF COVID-19 RELATED LIBRARY CLOSURES: For purposes of group registration, ACRL will define a group as up to 30 individuals from a single institution working remotely and logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webcast. Also, group registration includes access to the archived recording for one year for unlimited staff at a registered institution.

ALA and ACRL are committed to supporting our members, staff, and all librarians and library workers during these uncertain times. We will do our best to accommodate the needs of our attendees; please contact mconahan@ala.org if you have special registration circumstances.

How to Register

  • Go to the Online Registration page.

  • Locate the webcast by the date of the event under the September 2021 heading.

  • Select the "Register" link next to the webcast title.

  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Tech Requirements

ACRL Webcasts are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. You may interact with the presenter and ask questions through text-based chat. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform. The webcast will be recorded and the link to the recording shared shortly after the live event. 


If you have a question or need to make arrangements for special assistance or additional accessibility, please contact Margot Conahan (mconahan@ala.org).