Innovative Instruction in Thomason Special Collections



Felicia Williamson and Trent Shotwell taking to Diana Dowdey’s ENGL 3361 class

We are excited to announce that we are teaching more students how to use archival resources in their research in Thomason Special Collections than ever before. Significantly, we have collaborated with several professors this semester to offer innovative, hands-on assignments that will engage students with primary source documents. For example, we are working with Dr. Lila Rakoczy and Dr. Diane Dowdey to have their classes transcribe primary source documents and then the students will use these experiences to write a response paper which will incorporate additional primary and secondary sources from the collections we maintain. This will enhance the students’ learning experience by engaging them first through the sometimes intense transcription process and second by the required research in our collections required by the paper. Many of the students in these courses have never worked with transcription nor have they held an archival document or rare book in their hands – this assignment requires that they truly engage with our materials.

After our time with these students they often return to Thomason Special Collections again and again and have a new understanding of how archival research can augment Google searching and database articles as their write their research papers. We look forward to many more interactions with SHSU faculty and students in the semesters to come.


ENGL 3361 looking at materials from Thomason Special Collections


James Williamson instructs ENGL 3361 on the transcription project


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