1Teaching and learning at King’sCollege London using Archivesand Special CollectionsKatie SambrookGeoff Browell
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5Special collections at King’s• Around 180,000 items, mainly books but alsoMSS and photographs• Housed in the Foyle Specia...
6Why use special collection in teaching?• Raises institutional awareness ofcollections and reinforces their value asschola...
7Some things to consider• Risk of damage to items, throughinappropriate handling• Space – do you have a suitable seminar r...
8What has worked for us?• Building the use of special collections intoacademic curriculum / assessed coursework• Introduct...
9What have we found?• The potency of the physical object• Common student questions: How are books made?What is the paper m...
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13Archives at King’s• 5 million items• Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives &institutional, research and personal pap...
14Outreach & teaching• Online catalogues since 1996• Full outreach programme requiring the development of new IT:for examp...
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18Focus on graduate & ECR training• Archival skills – link with Moodle VLE• London Cultural Connections - AHRC• Language &...
19Key findings• Focus on the value and experience of working with originaldocuments• Broad approach to learning – e.g. U3A...
20Thank you• Geoff Browell: geoffrey.browell@kcl.ac.uk• Catalogues: www.kingscollections.org/catalogues• Exhibitions: www....
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Teaching and learning at King’s College London using Archives and Special Collections

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Presentation given at ALISS AGM 2013 by Katie Sambrook Geoff Browell of Kings College London

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Teaching and learning at King’s College London using Archives and Special Collections

  1. 1. 1Teaching and learning at King’sCollege London using Archivesand Special CollectionsKatie SambrookGeoff Browell
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  5. 5. 5Special collections at King’s• Around 180,000 items, mainly books but alsoMSS and photographs• Housed in the Foyle Special CollectionsLibrary, a self-contained dedicated wing ofthe main library building• Items range in date from 1483 to the presentday• Span humanities, social sciences and sciences,with notable strengths in world history,languages / literatures and medicine• Historical library of the Foreign andCommonwealth Office (FCO) our largest
  6. 6. 6Why use special collection in teaching?• Raises institutional awareness ofcollections and reinforces their value asscholarly resources• Introduces undergraduates and taught PGs toprimary sources• Often an inspiring experience for students• Builds links with academic colleaguesthrough partnership working• Fosters innovative teaching methods /academic content• Develops teaching, research andcommunication skills of Special Collections
  7. 7. 7Some things to consider• Risk of damage to items, throughinappropriate handling• Space – do you have a suitable seminar roomor will you need to close the Reading Room?• Significant time commitment to delivereffective teaching in a subject area in whichyou may not be a specialist
  8. 8. 8What has worked for us?• Building the use of special collections intoacademic curriculum / assessed coursework• Introductory sessions for taught PGs in somedisciplines to sow ideas / whet appetitesfor dissertation topics• Set upper limit on class size, ensureadequate supervision and provide supportsfor large or fragile items• Present jointly with academic colleagues• Include house rules, catalogue searchingtips, useful resources online• Include a practical exercise
  9. 9. 9What have we found?• The potency of the physical object• Common student questions: How are books made?What is the paper made of? How is a binding made?How many copies would have been printed in anedition? How is a woodcut made? What is an engraving?• Increased emphasis on the history of the book /descriptive bibliography / book as object• Rapid increase in take-up of our teaching offer,fuelled by:– Growth of taught PG courses– Growth of interdisciplinary humanities degrees– Growth of 3rd year dissertations• Special collections seminars now feeding directlyinto teaching content in some disciplines
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  13. 13. 13Archives at King’s• 5 million items• Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives &institutional, research and personal paper collections• Military, medical, psychiatric focus• Integrated records management and digital provision• Growing collections• Strand & Drury Lane locations• Outreach focus
  14. 14. 14Outreach & teaching• Online catalogues since 1996• Full outreach programme requiring the development of new IT:for example DAM and new cataloguing software withpresentation at the forefront – Celum and Archios
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  18. 18. 18Focus on graduate & ECR training• Archival skills – link with Moodle VLE• London Cultural Connections - AHRC• Language & Access - AHRC
  19. 19. 19Key findings• Focus on the value and experience of working with originaldocuments• Broad approach to learning – e.g. U3A, Nightingale & nurses,WW1 – mixing research with archives – leveraging expertise• Link with modules – for example Summer School• Need for advocacy within an organisation• Focus on fundraising• Commitment to collaboration & building communities (AIM25)
  20. 20. 20Thank you• Geoff Browell: geoffrey.browell@kcl.ac.uk• Catalogues: www.kingscollections.org/catalogues• Exhibitions: www.kingscollections.org/exhibitions• AIM25: www.aim25.ac.uk

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