Michalak, R., Rysavy, M., & Thompson, G. C. (2019). Building community, fostering collaboration, and engaging bridge program students with a college’s historical archives. Journal of Western Archives. 10(2), article 4. (peer-reviewed article).


Similar to smaller archives, this college’s archives have not been traditionally accessible online. Two instructors sought to teach summer bridge program (Boot Camp) students basic archival practices and quantitatively measure their information literacy skills through using the Information Literacy Skills (ILA) and Students’ Perceptions of their Information Skills-Questionnaire (SPIL-Q) instruments (cite). Boot Camp students’ average perceived confidence with IL skills as assessed by the SPIL-Q instrument increased from 4.00 to 4.77 (+19.2%) on the post-training SPIL-Q. By adding the ILA and SPIL-Q instruments to the course curriculum, combined with end of course reflection questions, the instructors were able to quantitatively determine if the students’ comprehension of evaluating information improved after handling, processing, and digitizing primary source documents. This study demonstrates the opportunities for community building and collaboration afforded by archivists and librarians engaging faculty and students with primary source exploration through college archives.

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