“Connecting and Collaborating with the Spelman College Archives” Workshop Recap

On November 25ththe GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning held the last faculty development workshop of the semester at the Spelman College Archives. The primary mission of the archives is to collect, preserve, organize and make accessible historically significant documents and other materials reflective of the College’s origins and development as well as the activities of its constituents and affiliates.

During the workshop Holly Smith, Spelman College Archivist, showcased ways to engage and collaborate with the College Archives for inclusion in undergraduate and/or graduate curriculum.  Smith has worked closely with faculty and staff here at the AUC as well as other neighboring Atlanta based institutions to fulfill their mission through thoughtful course collaboration and instruction sessions.  Smith shared steps on how to successfully utilize the archives, including scheduling consultations with the archivist before the start of the semester to discuss objectives and reviewing the finding aids online to become familiar with the scope and contents of each relevant collection.


She also gave four examples of class assignments created by faculty and/or herself that foster deep engagement with the college archival records.   Including a collaborative course instruction between Emory’s Rose Library and the Spelman College Archives which utilized archival collections from both institutions that focused on Black women writers; such as the Toni Cade Bambara collection, Audre Lorde collection, Alice Walker papers, and Pearl Cleage papers.

If you are interested in learning more about the Spelman College collections or would like to schedule a consultation with Holly Smith, you can contact her at hsmith12@spelman.edu.



“Introducation to RADAR” workshop Recap

On September 18th, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning held the second faculty development workshop of the semester. Cliff Landis, Digital Initiative Librarian, led a training session on how to search and discover archival collections, institutional scholarship, along with theses and dissertations using  the library’s new institutional repository, RADAR (Repository of AUC Digital collections, Archives, and Research).  After showing attendees how to navigate the site, Landis gave examples of course projects that have been created using materials now accessible on RADAR. Including GLAM Faculty Fellow, Dr. Charmayne Patterson’s Archival Study Assignment, which prompted students to curate an exhibition related to African American History leading up to 1865 using materials from the AUC Archives Research Center.  Landis also discussed how faculty can use RADAR for promotion and tenure.

Click link below to view his PowerPoint in its entirety.



Increasing Digital Accessibility at the Robert W. Woodruff Library Center

Gayle Schechter, AUC GLAM Exhibition Coordinator, was featured in the this summer’s Society of American Archivists’ Newsletter, Description Section! She wrote on the library’s efforts to to improve description on the digital portals in order to make digital images more accessible to a wider range of users.

“In order to make sure that content is accessible to our users with disabilities, it is important to tailor our online materials to work with assistive technology, which is any technology or device that enhances the capabilities of its user. This includes
making sure our websites can accommodate different modes for users to input text, and creating accurate descriptive text that can be easily read by screen readers that assist the visually impaired. The overarching principles from which we derive how
to implement digital accessibility are taken from W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). While WCAG can be broad and open to interpretation, the most important concept to remember is that a textual equivalent is needed for any non-text content: images, video, and audio.”

Click HERE to read the article in full.


“Incorporating Podcasts into Classroom Assignments” workshop recap

It’s the beginning of a new school year at the Atlanta University Center, which means that the Robert W. Woodruff Library’s GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning is back in session. We kicked off the year with our first faculty development workshop of the fall semester, “Incorporating Podcasts into Classroom Assignments.” Led by Justin de la Cruz, Unit Head for E-Learning Technology, the workshop provided attendees with an overview of the basics of podcasting. For those unfamiliar, the term “podcasting” was coined by BBC journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004 to define the new ability to subscribe and automatically download recordings via RSS. Podcasts can run the gamut from structured and informative programming to podcasts just for entertainment purposes.


GLAM’s Museum Education Curator, Martina Dodd, introduces Justin de la Cruz to attendees

After de la Cruz provided some background information on the history and growth of podcasting as a medium, he described a podcasting assignment he helped facilitate for an AUC faculty member last semester. After giving workshop attendees a chance to brainstorm some potential assignment ideas incorporating podcasts, de la Cruz then provided attendees with a brief tutorial on how to use Audacity, a free and open source software platform used for recording and editing podcasts.


Justin de la Cruz discusses podcasting with workshop attendees

If you’re an AUC faculty member who missed out on our workshop but are interested in finding out more about incorporating podcasting into one of your existing classes, be sure to contact the GLAM Center. We have a whole semester’s worth of exciting workshops coming up, so stay tuned to our events page and the library’s social media channels to stay up to date!

GLAM Center Featured Collection: #19forthe19th

This year, the U.S. National Archives is celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote with a new exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. To correspond their exhibit which “highlights the relentless struggle of diverse activists throughout U.S. history to secure voting rights for all American women,” they have launched a social media campaign #19forthe19th, encouraging libraries and archives to share images from their collections celebrating women’s accomplishments. Each week from June 5th through October 9th the National Archives has designated a different theme to spotlight. You can check out the collection of contributions to the social media campaign from Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library on the GLAM Center’s portal here. Be sure to follow the AUC Woodruff’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds to stay up to date with events and collections from the GLAM Center!


Students in Science Lab, circa 1970, Morris Brown College Photographs

Leadership Alliance Interns: Conducting Archival Research

Read more about the Leadership Alliance internship program here.


Camille Barnes discusses the items she found in her research

Camille Barnes:

My experience conducting archival research has been such an awarding experience. At the beginning of this journey I did not know a thing about research or how to even conduct research the proper way. Being able to spend my summer in the archives has taught me a lot about the work that goes into researching. I’ve also learned how preserving the work of others is important. Keeping records and files allows researchers to truly dig in and explore in a deeper level. When conducting research one of the tools that you can use to help you narrow down what you’re looking for is a finding aid. While doing my research I used the finding aid a couple of times to help me narrow down for what I was looking for. A big part of my research was looking through collections and personnel files. One of the personnel files I went through was Anne Cooke. Going through her file made me want to fully focus my research on her. Within her file there were handwritten correspondences between her and the president of Spelman during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. While doing my research on Anne Cooke I did struggle with finding a lot of information about her. I knew that she was impactful and played a significant role during her time at Spelman, there just was not enough physical proof to prove my point. The best thing about doing my research on Anne Cooke was I felt like I was telling her story by finding out things about her and her contributions to Spelman College. While I researched her it felt like her work got taken for granted and she was overlooked, seeing that most black women usually are. Though I was left with very little about her, I took what I had and what I knew to tell a more complete story about Anne Cooke.

Keighla Pope:

My experience conducting archival research has been great. I think that it was a little easier because the topic was so broad. I looked through a lot of material about Spelman’s drama and dance department, then I narrowed down and chose what topic I would focus on. It was cool going through things students and staff wrote. Knowing that the material I looked at were things used by Spelman students since 1920 really made me realize how important archives are and how every school needs an archive. Since this is my first time conducting archival research, this was also my first time using a finding aid. Before using a finding aid I thought that it was really hard and difficult to use. For my specific research topic using the finding aid was not that hard. I learned that you have to play around with what words you decide to use depending on the time period. I also learned that sometimes searching by year can be easier. During my time I feel like I made a very interesting discovery of someone who deserves recognition. Anne Cooke was an English professor who made Spelman’s theatre and dance department what it is today. I believe that without archives and researchers that there would be plenty of things in history that are just forgotten and not appreciated such as Anne Cooke’s legacy. I have really enjoyed my time here in the archives. I have learned so much about Spelman and I hope to one day work in other archives to learn more interesting things.

IMG-4361 (1)

Keighla Pope discusses her research process


Leadership Alliance interns: Visiting Archives in Atlanta

Read more about the Leadership Alliance internship program here.

Camille Barnes:

Before starting this program I did not know anything about Archives. I really was not sure what they were. An archive is an accumulation of historical records or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization’s lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization. Having the opportunity to go and visit other archives and museums have been a very rewarding experience. Each archive is different from one another. My favorite thing about archives are how they are able to access and keep records of the many historic things that have taken place in history. I find it fascinating to be able to see things from the past. When visiting the AUC Woodruff Archives I was very impressed with the size of their archive. It amazed me to see that every box had something in it, about someone, or something. Just about any history with Atlanta you’re likely to find something about it in the archive. It’s the same thing with Spelman’s archive. Any information about the school, a person who attended here, or something that took place at the school, nine times out of ten you will be able to find it in the archive. It truly is an awarding experience to have access to so many valuable records and collections.

Camille and Keighla-AUC Student Activism Exihbit

Camille and Keighla visiting the Exhibitions Hall exhibit at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library

Keighla Pope:

Visiting the archives throughout Atlanta was an eye opener. I did not know anything about archives before coming to Atlanta. Learning everything that goes into caring for the items in the archives and what things go into certain archives helped me gain not only an understanding but, an appreciation for the archives and the people who work in them. Visiting the Spelman archives was an introduction to how archives work. I learned that there is a reading room for researchers, a room for processing material given, and the stacks where the material is stored. I learned that archives are kept cold and the material is kept in acid-free folders and boxes so that they can last as long as possible. I also learned that there are different types of archives. I have only visited academic archives, however there are corporate archives, community archives, and more. After being introduced to Spelman’s archives I went to the AUC Woodruff Archives. It operated exactly like the Spelman archives but was much bigger. The Woodruff archives was a little more personal to me because it had more things about African American history throughout the AUC and Atlanta. The last archive I visited was the Auburn Avenue Research Library. This archive has reading and listening rooms and bigger collections from African Americans throughout Atlanta. The Auburn Avenue Research Library Archives was more personal to me than history classes and even museums. It is a different feeling when you are able to hold your history in your hands and be face to face. Visiting these archives showed me the importance of keeping history and the importance of learning about my history.

Introducing Spelman’s Leadership Alliance Interns

Last week we welcomed Spelman’s Leadership Alliance interns, Keighla and Camille. This week we’d like to introduce you to Keighla and Camille in their own words. Stay tuned for updates from our Leadership Alliance interns throughout the summer!

Camille Barnes


Hello! My name is Halee Camille Barnes I am the oldest child out of two younger siblings. I was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. I am a graduate from Southside High School where I was a member of the varsity basketball and soccer team. I was also a member of the National Beta Club, Student Council, Tiger Mentor, and reigned as Student Body President my senior year. I am currently a rising Sophomore at Claflin University where I am majoring in Criminal Justice, and hoping to obtain a minor in Psychology.

Having the opportunity to be apart of Leadership Alliance has been a wonderful experience so far. With having the opportunity to be apart of something so great I hope to learn many different things while I am here at Spelman. I am hoping to learn about the rich history here at Spelman, and learn more about the AUC. I am also eager to learn more about archival research. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge on other Historical Black Colleges and what they have to offer for their students.

Keighla Pope


My name is Keighla Pope and I am from St. Helena Island, South Carolina. I am a rising sophomore at Claflin University. I enjoy listening to music, singing, and modeling. I am the head captain of the modeling company at Claflin University called En Veux Modeling Company. I hope to one day become the president of En Veux. When I am at home I enjoy going to church and singing on the praise team. I also enjoy spending time with my grandparents and cousins. I love everything natural hair. I learned mostly everything about my hair on YouTube. I also love makeup even though I only wear it on special occasions. I love nature and I love to film it or take pictures. My major is Mass Communications with a concentration of digital media, I grew up loving filmography and photography. I love the idea of being in front of the camera and behind it. A digital media concentration is learning more about cameras, TV production, and TV and Radio announcement. I also plan to study more in the public relations concentration to learn a little more about media advertising and sales. Here at I Spelman I hope to learn when to use different methods of research. Some things are appropriate depending on when they are needed. I think that there is a time when archival research is more beneficial than getting secondary sources. I hope that during my time spent here I learn how to make the things I find useful and how to tell if it is better to use than searching elsewhere. I also hope to learn how to choose what things with be considered more important than others. It can be so much information that seems helpful, so I hope to learn what to use and how to discard things that seem important but will not be.



GLAM Center Welcomes Leadership Alliance Spelman Interns!

This summer Spelman College Archivist, Holly Smith welcomes two undergraduate students from Clafin University to the campus for a summer fellowship where they will be introduced to the rich cultural holdings of Atlanta University Center.

The Leadership Alliance, founded at Brown University in 1992 as a partnership of 23 institutions, came together to develop underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector. Today, this consortium has grown to more than 30 institutions and private industry who have provided research and networking experiences to over 4,000 young scholars.

Camille and Keighla-AUC Student Activism Exihbit

Keighla and Camille visit the “Start Something” Exhibit at AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library

The First Year Summer Research Program enables students from institutions serving historically underrepresented groups to conduct research during the Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). The SR-EIP program offers closely mentored research experiences in the life and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities at 20 research institutions across the country. SR-EIP Participants spend 8-10 weeks at a Leadership Alliance institution; Receive a stipend, and travel and housing expenses from the research institution; work under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor; make oral or poster presentations at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium; and gain access to ongoing resources, mentoring and professional networks to support their chosen career path.

Holly, Camille, Keighla, Derek-Auburn Ave Visit

Keighla, Camille, and Spelman Archivist Holly Smith speak with Derek Mosley, Archivist at Auburn Avenue Research Library

We are delighted to welcome Keighla Pope and Camille Barnes from Claflin University as the inaugural Summer 2019 Spelman Interns! Camille and Keighla will be conducting initial research for a digital exhibition on drama and dance at Spelman College and across the Atlanta University Center. They will be researching in archival collections at Spelman, AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center and other area institutions, writing exhibit text, and assisting with uploading items into the digital platform.

Camille and Keighla will also document their experiences through bi-weekly blog posts on the GLAM Center Portal, stay tuned to see what they discover!

Keighla and Camille-Researching in Spelman Archives

Keighla and Camille researching at Spelman Archives

GLAM Featured Collection: LGBTQ+ Pride Month

This month, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s featured collection celebrates LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + other groups) Pride. This year’s Pride Month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, widely considered to be the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Here at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, our Archives Research Center has been making a concerted effort to increase the amount of collections related to LGBTQ+ material in order to more accurately reflect the breadth of the African American community. For decades the LGBTQ+ community at the AUC, as they were in the rest of the country, remained silent and hidden. The Archives Research Center is committed to expanding our collections to increase LGBTQ+ representation, recognizing the value these collections provide as a scholarly resource.

Josephine Baker stands between Harold Jackman and Noble Sissle

From left to right: Harold Jackman, Josephine Baker, and Noble Sissle

Our featured collection highlights many photographs from our Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection of black entertainers including Josephine Baker and Bessie Smith. The collection also contains correspondence from writer James Baldwin and a poem from Angelina Grimké. Additionally, the Archives Research Center holds a collection of BLK, a monthly magazine published from 1988 to 1994 with the motto “where the news is colored on purpose,” which covered people, events, and issues relevant to LBGT African American readers.

BLK magazine cover featuring RuPaul standing next to a seated Santa Claus with the tagline "RuPaul: Gag on the Glamour"

1993 cover of BLK Magazine featuring drag icon, RuPaul

Due to the sensitive nature of some materials, we have opted to digitize a small sampling of our collection to share online. If you’re interested in viewing more of our LGBTQ+ materials, please contact the Archives Research Center at archives@auctr.edu to make an appointment.