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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jimerson, Randall C.

Second Advisor

Eurich, S. Amanda, 1956-

Third Advisor

Koester, Rozlind


This thesis explores how archives and special collections are making use of social media and interactive tools (or "Web 2.0 technologies") online to serve a specific user group; teachers and students. Outreach and design for user groups on terms that work for them is the best way to turn them into patrons of archives and increase use the use of archives' traditionally under-utilized, but valuable, resources. Chapter One lays out what these terms are for teachers and students as their use of technology increases. In Chapter Two I discuss my survey of 262 archival websites in order to establish what tools/social media are currently being used, which of these institutions/collections self-identify as being purveyors of educational materials, and when these two things are happening together. While many archives/collections with web presences are making use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies and less often are self-identifying as purveyors of educational materials, no archives/collections were found to be doing so explicitly at the same time. While archivists view their materials as inherently valuable as educational materials their failure to reinforce this online exposes their need to rethink how they can best use online spaces to strengthen archival identity and increase user understanding of their value and function. Suggestions for archives of different sizes and those with or without host institutions are made in Chapter Three.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Archives and education--Effect of technological innovations on; Archives users--Effect of technological innovations on; Archives--Technological innovations; Web 2.0; Online social networks




masters theses




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