Last Fall Provost Gillespie and I co-taught LIB290: Archives and Primary Sources. We introduced our students to primary source research by exploring the rich archival resources surrounding the history of Wake Forest University and the Reynolds Family using the ZSR Library’s Special Collections & Archives, the Reynolda House Archives, and a vast array of online resources. Learning how to do research in the archives not only helped our students conduct research for their other courses, it can also help with other lifetime pursuits. For example, attorneys, organizers, artists, writers, filmmakers, government officials, city and state planners, marketers, sociologists, economists and data analysts use archival sources all the time.

Smith& Libby exhibit image and an image of the Calvin Jones House

Several of their assignments focused on how primary sources support various forms of research, whether it be online, in print, or in the form an exhibit. The students had a virtual visit to the Original Campus as well as visits to the Reynolda House Museum to see the Smith & Libby exhibit. As their final project our class used the learning they gained to create new knowledge in the form of an exhibit using primary sources. Each student selected a person or event related to Wake Forest history, collected primary sources about their topic, and then constructed an evidence-based narrative for their viewers. The topics ranged from the history of Wake ‘N Shake to how the School of Medicine moved to Winston-Salem. Their exhibits will be on display in Room 401 of ZSR through May.