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Special Collections Resources for Instructors

Services, facilities, and technologies for classes in Special Collections

Archival Orientation

One or more class sessions can be booked in the reading room or the Webster classroom for the archivist to talk to your students about archives and archival/special collections research. This session is strongly recommended for any classes incorporating archival/special collections research, and usually takes a half hour to an hour depending on the number of topics covered. Topics the archivist can cover include:

  • what is an archives/its relationship to libraries and museums
  • the history of archives
  • archives/special collections as a vocation
  • collections in the Beulah Culbertson Archives and Special Collections
  • reading room etiquette
  • research strategies for archival sources
  • collections relevant to particular course content
  • history of Mississippi University for Women

To book a class session, contact the archivist as early as possible to prevent any scheduling conflicts.

Guided Projects

Archives and Special Collections welcomes opportunities to facilitate class projects, large or small. We have worked with instructors on projects ranging from a single class session to sequential multicourse projects spanning multiple class sections across several semesters. We have materials to support a broad range of topics in history, literature, gender studies, women's leadership, and other topics, and can also use our materials to teach skills such as visual literacy and critical thinking that appeal to many disciplines.

In the past, we have worked with instructors and students on projects that:

  • used photographs to think about nontextual sources as evidence
  • developed factual questions for students to find answers to in the archives
  • constructed an exhibit using archival records in Special Collections exhibit cases
  • used archival images to recreate front campus in gingerbread
  • reconstructed the history of the university's desegregation

Classes undertaking projects of these sorts have booked numerous sessions in the archives for the students to work individually, in groups, or as the whole class section together, some even without the instructor's presence. Students will also be able to book individual appointments outside of class to complete their research as needed.

Additional project ideas are always welcome; we're always looking for new ways to make our resources useful for students. Contact the archivist if you are interested in implementing an archival project in your upcoming class.


Students interested in internships both within and outside of Mississippi University for Women can conduct their internship with Archives and Special Collections. Previous student interns have:

  • arranged, preserved, and described large and small archival collections
  • digitized and created metadata for records from the family of Annie Coleman Peyton
  • curated an exhibit on the history of sports at The W
  • constructed some of the inventories and finding aids visitors still consult
  • created a subject guide for sources on desegregation
  • edited an anthology of student research and creative work

W students sign up for HIS 401 History Internship, EN 401 English Internship, WS 401 Women's Studies Internship, or another such course. The archivist will serve as their onsite supervisor and in addition they will have a faculty member of record who will be in charge of grading and creating the assignment structure (reflective papers, daily journals, etc.). Undergraduate students generally need to complete 120 hours of labor in the archives over a semester for full credit.

For more information, contact the archivist.