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Amistad Collaboration Featured in Symposium Proceedings

A long-standing collaboration between the Amistad Research Center and students and faculty at Tulane University is featured in a new publication by The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) entitled Innovation, Collaboration and Models—Proceedings of the CLIR Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium, March 2015. The proceedings document a two-day symposium that brought together archivists, librarians, students, faculty, and administrators from institutions that had received support from CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Amistad’s innovative partnership with Dr. Elisabeth McMahon, Associate Professor of History at Tulane, is featured in the article “Maximizing Partnerships: Faculty Buy-in, Service Learning, and Hidden Collections.” Authored by Dr. McMahon and Christopher Harter, Amistad’s Director of Library and Reference Services, the article traces the six-year development of an undergraduate course on primary sources related to African history that drew heavily from Amistad’s archival and library collections and required Dr. McMahon’s students to perform volunteer hours as part of the course’s service-learning requirement. Four different classes taught by Dr. McMahon and supervised by Harter took part in the collaboration, during which time students assisted the Center in inventorying archival collections, rare pamphlets and newspapers, and audiovisual holdings.

“Amistad’s contribution to the CLIR proceedings documents the growth of a course and partnership that has benefitted not only the Amistad Research Center, but Dr. McMahon and her students,” according to Christopher Harter. “We have been fortunate to have multiple students who first took part in the course return to Amistad as interns and part-time project assistants. We hope that the publication of this article will serve as a model for other institutions and scholars looking for opportunities to collaborate to enrich access to archival and library collections.”

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