The Student as Curator: Real World Lessons in the Humanities

By Michelle Visser Falke.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper highlights an innovative approach taken by Special Collections at the University of Colorado at Boulder to collaborative teaching and learning in the humanities. Working with the instruction librarian and a professor of Italian, ten Italian majors and minors curated an exhibit in Special Collections titled "The Printed Page and Early Modern Italy". Students were responsible for all aspects of the exhibit including selection of materials, intellectual content, the writing of captions (bi-lingual), preservation of materials, layout, design, and installation. The goal was not just to help the students hone their language skills but to provide them with a 'global' learning experience, one in which new knowledge and skills were put to immediate real-world use. The outcome was overwhelmingly successful and suggests a new and exciting area for collaboration between special collections and departments in the humanities.

Keywords: Education in Humanities, Language Acquisition, Course Integrated Instruction, Special Collections, Collaboration, Exhibits

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.215-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 513.143KB).

Michelle Visser Falke

Assistant Professor/Instruction Librarian in Special Collections, Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Falke has been an instruction librarian in Special Collections at the University of Colorado at Boulder for the past five years. She works with visiting undergraduate and graduate classes as well as local school and community groups, coordinating and hosting close to sixty visits each year. She also serves as the Libraries' Italian bibliographer. She has a strong background in book conservation, the history of the book, museum studies, and education. In addition to an MLIS and a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts and Technologies, she completed an internship in rare book conservation at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. Falke taught Italian at the university level for five years and has a similar amount of experience teaching English as a second language. Most recently she became a Certified Archivist.

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