Special Collections and Archives blog

History 498C and Stories from the Colorado Plateau

HIS498c flyer

Special Collections and Archives is dedicated to supporting faculty and students in many ways. We support student success, critical thinking, and advanced research skills by working with faculty to integrate primary source content and research into their course curriculum. This past semester (fall 2015) Special Collections and Archives partnered with 13 faculty teaching 16 different courses from three colleges (CAL, SBS, CFENS). In total, we worked with over 600 students this semester! Perhaps our most closely with was History 498C, the History department capstone course.

Special Collections and Archives was honored to partner with Linda Sargent Wood’s History 498c this semester. Dr. Sargent Wood brought her students to the department at the beginning of the semester to meet with archivist Sean Evans. Mr. Evans provided her students with an overview of the department, our collecting focus (human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau), and primary source research strategies and tools. The History 498c students worked with Dr. Sargent Wood and Mr. Evans to identify subjects within the department’s holdings to examine for their capstone projects. Over the course of the semester, the students spent time in the department reviewing finding aids, examining content from collections, and coalescing their analysis into their final projects and papers.

As a culminating event, Special Collections and Archives hosted History 498C’s final research projects and presentations in the department on Thursday afternoon. The students shared their research and discoveries through posters, displays, or websites that showcased their thesis statement, argument, methodology, and findings. Several of the students made presentations to an audience composed of parents, friends, faculty members, the staff of SCA, and library administration. Each student did an impressive job with their research, writing, posters, and presentations. The topics covered were diverse and touched on several cornerstone collections from our holdings. For example, Navajo trading posts, cultural appropriation on Route 66, mining on the Navajo Nation, missionaries on the Navajo Nation, veterans, Mormon women’s rights in the 19th century, the mysterious disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde, campus unrest at ASC/NAU, the Harvey Girls, the growth of NAU’s campus, dams in the region, the lumber industry in Flagstaff, and the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the students for their effort, passion for history, and the enthusiasm they brought throughout the semester and during the final presentations. We also want to thank Dr. Linda Sargent Wood for partnering with us and letting us be part of the final presentations.

If other faculty and instructors are interested in learning more about our holdings and how we might be able to support your courses, please contact us at special.collections@nau.edu or 523-5551. We have an instruction page on our website that provides additional information for faculty interested in partnering with Special Collections and Archives to support their courses.

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