Methods: Exercises

Dipping into the Archives (Abelmann)

This exercise introduces students to a remarkable resource on campus, the Student Life and Culture Archives. It begins archival thinking by asking them to draw connections between their own lives and those of earlier generations of students. These are the instructions I give students:

Go to the student archives and research a person that has something in common with you. Maybe you have the same first or last name. Maybe you're from the same home town or belong to the same organization. Or maybe you have the same first or last name.

Write two short pieces.
(1) Tell us something about their life or experience at the U of I that interests you; also indicate why you are interested. (You may include information about the University or the social environment at the time as it might have related to the person you chose).
(2) Tell us what this person’s life or experience at the U of I makes you think about in relation to your own U of I life/experience. For examples of this sort of student work visit EUI Live.

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