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In Fall 2013, I attended the Backwards by Design workshop sponsored by the Writing Instruction Center and led by Carmen Werder and Shevell Thibou. At that time I was just beginning to think about a new course, LIBR 320: Archives and Special Collections Studies. The purpose of the course is to engage students with the primary sources available in the Heritage Resources unit of Western Libraries, including the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives. Using the collections, students gain knowledge of and respect towards the institutions of special collections and archives globally, experiencing them locally.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Articulate what primary sources are and why they are valuable for research
  • Understand the importance of context in primary source materials
  • Learn about organization, preservation, and use of special collections