campus partner(s)

Yale University






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Ann L. Okerson

Yale University

Grant Summary

$98,830 over 18 months. The Yale University Library proposes to explore the strengthening of liberal arts education through making students aware of special collections materials and objects and helping them use and even create such materials. "Special collections" is a commonly used term for items or archives that are unique, singular, source materials or media that, because of their scarcity, are specially housed and treated by academic libraries. The premise of this proposal is, nonetheless, that such materials deserve to be widely known and used, that they are not in short supply (but can be found in many academic institutions or can be created), and that their use and/or creation can facilitate learning and bring excitement into the classroom.

Partners in this venture, led by Yale University Library, will include community colleges (such as Naugatuck), four-year liberal arts colleges (such as Connecticut College), and small universities (such as Wesleyan). The project structure includes "anchor" events at the beginning (to define the opportunities, best practices that exist, the specific participating individuals, and a work plan) and at the end (to bring together what has been learned and to result in a concluding "White Paper"), as well as three practical workshops at intervals in between. The workshops will focus on specific special collections challenges such as Bringing Students to Collections; Oral Histories as Enticement; and Students and Active Learning. Each workshop will also result in a descriptive work. All timelines, deliverables, participants, and the concluding paper will be made available, as developed, on the project Web site.