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Establishing a School Archives

Name:Establishing a School Archives

Brief Description of the Site:
Creating a school archives can be an extremely fulfilling and eye-opening project for students as well as for educators. Such projects provide for multi-disciplinary learning as students compare and contrast the lives of earlier generations with their own. But, to get the most out of the experience involves a lot of pre-planning, which is where this page can help. Just one small part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) “Digital Classroom†site, it offers meaningful and valuable tips for any group about to embark on a school archives project. It includes a plan for getting started, a valuable glossary of terms such as “archivist†and a list of items that might be included. There is also a bibliography of useful articles and a link to the “Building an Archive†main page.

How to use the site:
Absorb the advice before starting out. If done correctly a school archive project can be a valuable historic resource, but if done shabbily it can be meaningless. There should be a good deal of pre-planning with students to raise expectations and ensure student buy-in. Be sure to click on Document Analysis Worksheets to obtain sample worksheets for evaluating written documents, photos, artifacts, and more. The worksheets will help you and your students to create guidelines for the various items they will eventually be collecting and analyzing for the school archive.