Non-Textual Sources

One of the resolutions I’ve made during this first week is to make better use of my institution’s existing digital history resources in my teaching.  Our library has a small number of fairly rich collections of images (and some audio files) illustrating the history of southern Appalachia.

Early 20th century postcard, Western North Carolina

Early 20th century postcard, Western North Carolina

I’d like to ask students (undergrads, lower level) to create brief visual essays from a selection of images, with the help of course readings and discussions of regional history.  Students would browse a particular collection, select a small number of images, and attempt to form these into a narrative or argument reflecting some aspect of the course’s regional history content.  They could use a basic tool like Animoto to caption the images and present their work (with terrible music selections).  I could then conclude the activity with a discussion of how they selected and arranged their images and how they drew links between the particular images and the context provided by readings and other course materials.  If I manage this activity properly, it could provide a low-stakes way to identify and practice a couple of the cognitive moves involved in historical research.

Source: Non-Textual Sources

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