GLAM Workshop Recap: Creating Curriculum Inspired Online Exhibitions

Last week we held our final GLAM Faculty Development workshop of the fall semester, “Creating Curriculum Inspired Online Exhibitions.” Led by GLAM’s Museum Education Curator, Martina Dodd, and Digital Exhibitions Coordinator, Gayle Schechter, this workshop provided AUC faculty and Robert W. Woodruff Library staff with an overview of the resources available on the GLAM Center’s digital portal, including digitized archival collections and our assignment portal. GLAM staff then led a tutorial on how to create exhibits in Omeka, an open-source web platform designed for sharing digital collections.

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Museum Education Curator Martina Dodd gives an overview of the GLAM Center digital portal

A key component of the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s work is building thematic digital exhibitions, but it’s not just GLAM and Archives Research Center (ARC) staff creating those exhibits! We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on the use of digital exhibits in the classroom, whether in the form of instructional exhibits created in consultation with GLAM staff or exhibits created by students for a class assignment or an extracurricular project. The GLAM Center’s first student-created exhibits were made by Spelman professor Dr. Rosetta Ross’s religion course, Introduction to Christian Ethics: Archival Research and Black Women in U.S. Civil Rights. GLAM and ARC staff taught Dr. Ross’s class how to conduct archival research and how to build digital exhibits using our exhibit platform, Omeka. You can view the students’ final exhibits about former NAACP Southeastern Regional Director Ruby Hurley here.

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Digital Exhibitions Coordinator Gayle Schechter provides a tutorial on using Omeka

Be sure to keep an eye on our digital portal after winter break. We’ll have a new slate of faculty development workshops as well as new digital exhibits throughout the spring semester.

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GLAM Center Featured Collection: Black Librarianship

Though Clark Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Studies closed its doors in 2005, the Archives Research Center (ARC) at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library houses several collections showcasing the contributions to the field of librarianship made by faculty and staff at the AUC as well as prominent black librarians outside the AUC. The first director of the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library (and namesake of the library’s Exhibitions Hall), Virginia Lacy Jones was the second African American to earn a doctorate in Library Science from the University of Chicago. Working alongside Jones at Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Service was Hallie B. Brooks who taught at AU for 47 years.

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AU brochure, circa 1965

In addition to Jones’s and Brooks’s papers, the ARC also houses the records of the Atlanta University School of Library and Information Service, which opened its doors in 1941 after the Hampton Institute’s library school (the only library school for African Americans at that time) closed. AU’s library school later became known as the Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies and then the Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies after Atlanta University merged with Clark College in 1989.

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AUSLIS Students and Faculty in Class, circa 1955

Other trailblazing black librarians are featured prominently throughout ARC collections. Portraits of Dorothy Porter, who decolonized library cataloging and built Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center into a world-class research institution, are found in the Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection. Also found among the Cullen-Jackman collection are papers pertaining to Sadie Peterson Delaney, a pioneer in bibliotherapy who served as chief librarian of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskeegee, AL for 34 years, and Arna Wendell Bontemps, head librarian at Fisk University and noted Harlem Renaissance figure. ARC collections also feature materials from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association as well as the library honor society, Beta Phi Mu.

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Dorothy Porter, May 1951, photograph by Carl Van Vechten

Check out the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s digital portal to see our featured collection on black librarianship, and stay tuned for our collaborative exhibit with the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center on Clark Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Studies this spring!

Black Architects in the Archives: The Oscar Harris Collection in the Archives Research Center of the AUC Woodruff Library

Guest post by Brittany Newberry, Processing Archivist at AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center

In August 2017, the Archives Research Center of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library received the Oscar Harris collection. Known for his designs that influenced the Atlanta skyline, Oscar Harris is a prominent and notable Black architect in Atlanta, GA. He is one of the first African American architects in the city to start a minority run architecture firm, Turner Associates Architects and Planners, Inc. His career includes projects such as the Olympic Look, Terminal E, the Atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and Underground Atlanta. The collection documents his career and the multitude of projects he worked on.

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Key to the city of Columbia, SC, Oscar Harris Collection, Archives Research Center Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

If you are interested in the work of Black architects in the South, this collection is for you. The materials highlight Harris’s major works and offers researchers the ability to look at major aspects of running an architecture firm from meetings, finances, blueprints, and marketing. Additionally, the collection showcases the talents of Harris and his experiences as an architect. It is currently being processed and will be available for research in the near future. Once the collection is open for research, people will be able to see a history of Harris’s projects and work in Atlanta and other cities.

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Cover of notebook, “The House,” 1990, Oscar Harris Collection, Archives Research Center Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

While processing the collection, I have come across several hidden gems that may be of interest to researchers. Not only can one find blueprints, correspondence, and notes for the various projects, but they will discover photographs, sketchbooks, journals, memorabilia, and artifacts. Of note is a container of dirt from a groundbreaking, the key to the city of Columbia, SC, and photographs of projects and Oscar Harris with major Atlanta figures, such as Andrew Young and Maynard Jackson.

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Page of notebook, Oscar Harris Collection, Archives Research Center Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Of particular interest to me are the notebooks of Oscar Harris, dating as far back as 1987. These journals and sketch books give a glimpse into the career of Oscar Harris and his day to day work. With over forty books in the collection, they encompass the major projects his firm worked on.  His sketches outlined  the projects and ideas he had at the time. Including sketches of his house that he designed and places, such as the lake shore of Chicago, IL. I even found sketches of Halloween costumes and one of the escalators to the atrium of the Atlanta airport.

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Sketch of the Chicago lake shore, June 10, 2004, Oscar Harris Collection, Archives Research Center Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

The collection covers a significant time period in the development of Atlanta from the 1980s to early 2000s. I invite researchers and those curious about Atlanta history and the changing landscape of the Atlanta neighborhoods to explore the collection.  It complements the vast holdings of the Archives Research Center. Related collections include the Grace Towns Hamilton papers, which contains maps of Atlanta neighborhoods and districts, the Atlanta Urban League papers and the John Hope records that have several files on various architects, and the Maynard Jackson Mayoral Administrative records. Be on the lookout for the announcement of the opening of the collection and the link for the finding aid. In the meantime, visit www.auctr.edu/archives for more information about the Archives and our holdings and contact us at archives@auctr.edu with any questions you may have.

GLAM Workshop Recap: Navigating AUC Digital Commons

Like many institutions, the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library has been spending time digitizing archival resources and scholarly publications in order to increase online access to our resources. This month, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s faculty workshop focused on how to navigate and access these newly digitized AUC collections and our institutional repository. Led by Christine Wiseman, head of AUC Woodruff’s Digital Services Department (DSD), faculty and staff learned about the resources and services DSD provides and how to navigate AUC Woodruff’s online repository, hosted on Digital Commons.

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Digital Service Department head Christine Wiseman speaking about AUC Woodruff Library’s institutional repository.

In addition to hosting digitized archival materials (including audio and video recordings), Digital Commons also hosts research authored by AUC faculty, staff, and students in addition to digital humanities projects. Currently AUC’s institutional repository hosts 35 digitized archival collections and over 13,000 other publicly accessible items, with over 270,000 downloads recorded this year. The Digital Services Department also hosts several open access journals published by AUC institutions, including Spelman’s Continuum, Morehouse’s Challenge, Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, and CAU’s Endarch. DSD staff is more than happy to work with you on hosting your content in AUC Woodruff’s institutional repository.

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AUC faculty and library staff learn about Digital Commons.

New to AUC Woodruff’s Digital Commons repository is “Our Story: Photographs and Publications of the Atlanta University Center”. With funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), “Our Story” is the result of a two and a half year collaboration between the AUC Woodruff Library, the Spelman College Archives, and the Digital Library of Georgia. The goal of the collaboration was to broaden access to unique publications, periodicals, theses, dissertations and photographs that document the history of the various institutions which make up the Atlanta University Center. You can find out more about “Our Story” in the webinar, “Revealing Hidden Collections: The Our Story Digitization Project at the Atlanta University Center”.

GLAM Museum Education Curator Attends DLF Forum

Martina Dodd, AUC GLAM Museum Education Curator, received a Digital Library Federation HBCU Fellowship to attend this year’s DLF Forum!  She wrote about her experience for the DLF blog:

“Through a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the AUC established the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning last year to introduce faculty to object-based pedagogical models and visual thinking strategies to stimulate cross disciplinary teaching and learning.  A major part of this initiative has been to increase visibility, discoverability, and usage of the archival materials and artworks from Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, and the AUC Archives Research Center, through the creation of our digital portal (which launched earlier this year). Hearing about the creation of a digital platform for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum which allows students to actively engage with artifacts and original historical documents related to the Holocaust has inspired me to think even more creatively in how the GLAM Center Digital portal (http://glam.auctr.edu/) can act as a digital teaching and learning tool.”

To read more of her reflections head to the DLF blog, https://www.diglib.org/fellow-reflection-martina-dodd/.

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GLAM Workshop Recap: Partnering With the Archives at the AUC

The Atlanta University Center is fortunate to be home to both the Spelman College Archives and the Robert W. Woodruff Library (RWWL) Archives Research Center. Earlier in October, GLAM held our third Faculty Development Workshop of the fall semester on partnering with the archives at the AUC. Spelman College Archivist Holly Smith and RWWL’s Public Services Archivist Tiffany Atwater Lee led an informative discussion on collections held by each institutions and ideas for incorporating archival materials into coursework at the AUC.

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Holly Smith and Tiffany Atwater Lee explain the importance of incorporating archives into the curriculum.

Participants learned about the history and collections of Spelman and RWWL’s Archives in addition to the special services that each institution offers to faculty. To illustrate the dynamic ways archival materials can be brought into the classroom, Ms. Smith and Ms. Atwater Lee discussed assignments prepared in consultation with AUC faculty as well as past collaborations with institutions outside of the AUC. Spelman has collaborated with Emory University on the course, Writing Themselves Into Existence, which focused on black women writers and both Spelman and RWWL have collaborated with Georgia State University on the course Going Steady: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990.

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Faculty and RWWL librarians learn about using archival materials in the classroom.

If you’re an AUC faculty member interested in incorporating archival materials into your classroom, reach out to us for a consultation. To collaborate with RWWL’s Archives Research Center, contact Tiffany Atwater Lee at tatwater@auctr.edu or GLAM’s Museum Education Curator at mdodd@auctr.edu. For more information on the Spelman College Archives, contact Holly Smith at hsmith12@spelman.edu.

Recap of Object Based Learning Workshop with Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

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Workshop participants get an up-close view of artwork from the CAU Art Museum collection

We kicked off this semester’s first GLAM Faculty Development Workshop in Clark Atlanta University Art Museum’s object study classroom on August 20th.  The museum’s newly created object study classroom is the perfect setting for close study of art works from the permanent collection that are rarely seen or exhibited.  Dr. Maurita Poole, Director of Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, facilitated an insightful discussion on the creative process of two artists represented in their permanent collection. AUC faculty from multiple disciplines closely examined Roy DeCarava’s Pickets alongside Atlanta-based photographer Shelia Pree Bright’s photographs of protests in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to consider how artists record and depict important current and historical events.   Although DeCarava is most widely known as a photographer, the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum’s collection holds one of his earlier works on paper – a seriograph of two men walking a picket line.

“Eyes on the Prize”, other documentaries available for streaming through AUC Woodruff Library

If you’re eagerly anticipating poring over the sources listed in the LibGuide companion to our upcoming voting rights exhibit, an excellent resource to hold you over is the award-winning PBS documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement”. Originally aired in 1986, the 14 part series is narrated by the late Julian Bond and features a treasure trove of archival footage and interviews with the leaders of the Civil Rights movement, including John Lewis, Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, and many more. The emotionally-charged series traces the Civil Rights movement from its early days of the Montgomery bus boycott and the national reaction to the murder of Emmett Till to the election of Chicago’s first black mayor in the 1980s. Documentary films can make excellent sources for your research papers, and the heavy reliance on primary source material in “Eyes on the Prize” makes it a superior resource on understanding the Civil Rights movement in America.

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GLAM Center staff is always on the lookout for great resources, and while conducting research for our upcoming voting rights exhibit, we were thrilled to find that this documentary series was made available through the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library’s Kanopy database. Kanopy is an on-demand streaming platform offering a large collection of award-winning films and documentaries. In addition to documentaries on a wide variety of subjects, Kanopy also streams a great selection of classic and modern films in genres ranging from comedy to horror, making it a great option for when you’ve managed to watch everything on your Netflix queue! The best part of all is that Kanopy is 100% free of charge; you only need to sign in with your Woodruff Library login to access hundreds of great videos!

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Once you’ve watched all the great documentaries Kanopy has to offer on the struggle for voting rights in America, stay tuned for the opening of our voting rights exhibit at the Woodruff’s Archives Research Center (and its digital companion at http://glam.auctr.edu/) in early October!

-written by Gayle Schechter, GLAM Digital Exhibitions Coordinator

GLAM Center Featured Collection: The Voter Education Project

One thing is on many citizens’ minds this fall: voting. Voting is a powerful tool in our democracy that can help marginalized groups amass political power, and, for that reason, the fight for the right to vote in the United States has often been a contentious, and sometimes bloody, battle. Despite the ratification of the 15th Amendment guaranteeing American men the right to vote regardless of race in 1870 following the Civil War, African Americans throughout the country, but especially in the South, often found resistance to exercising this freedom.

The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 mandated, among other protections, preservation of registration and voting records in federal elections and judicial appointments of voting “referees” to compile evidence of voting rights violations. However, African Americans who protested unjust treatment or attempted to register to vote were often met by violent pushback from Southern whites. The surge of negative press regarding civil rights protests caught the eye of the Kennedy administration, with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy who believed that a privately funded voter registration program would eliminate the need for these protests. The Southern Regional Council (SRC), with the full support of the Kennedy administration, established the Voter Education Project (VEP) in 1962.

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VEP Selma Poster, circa 1960s

Initially a 2 year pilot project, the VEP provided grants to Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), National Urban League, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Despite President Kennedy’s request that, with the formation of the VEP, these groups halt protest activities, only the NAACP complied. When the VEP launched in 1962, only about 25% of voting age African Americans were registered throughout the South, with states like Mississippi having only about 6% of its voting age African Americans registered.

In its first two years, VEP efforts increased African American voter registration in Southern states from roughly 25% to roughly 40%, with nearly 800,000 new African American voters registered. Despite the success of the initial VEP campaign, the organizations funded by the VEP continued to face brutality and police repression against their voter registration campaigns. The collective national frustration over the dangers VEP volunteers faced ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the subsequent Voting Rights Act of 1965. The VEP continued to work under the auspices of the Southern Regional Council until 1971, when it became an independent organization under the leadership of now-Congressman John Lewis. Under the leadership of Lewis, the VEP continued to expand its mission throughout the country until financial hardships led to its closing in 1992.

Interested in learning more about the work of the Voter Education Project? You can view the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s featured collection of VEP images on our digital portal. The Archives Research Center at AUC’s Robert W. Woodruff Library can provide access to the Voter Education Project organizational records and stay tuned for the GLAM Center’s digital exhibit on voting rights this fall!

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“Register and Vote” line, undated

-written by Gayle Schechter, GLAM Digital Exhibitions Coordinator

AUC Woodruff’s GLAM Center welcomes new and returning students back to campus!

It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to a close and the Atlanta University Center (AUC) campuses are beginning to hustle and bustle with the activity of new and returning students. Whether you’re a student interested in finding out more about the art and historical holdings across the AUC’s cultural institutions or a faculty member looking to incorporate more artwork and primary sources into the curriculum, the new GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning is an exciting new resource!

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“Students”, undated, Atlanta University Photographs

The AUC GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Center is a collaboration between AUC’s Robert W. Woodruff Library, Archives Research Center, the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. In addition to providing faculty with training in object-based learning methods, the GLAM Center’s digital portal (http://glam.auctr.edu) is a centralized hub of digital images of archival and art holdings from across the GLAM Center’s member institutions, thematic digital exhibitions, and educational resources for faculty, students, and anyone interested in African-American art and history.

The GLAM Center has big plans for the 2018-2019 school year, including new exhibits and faculty workshops. Stay tuned to the AUC Woodruff Library on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest in GLAM news!

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Page from Clark Atlanta University’s Panther, 2011, Clark Atlanta University Printed and Published Materials

-written by Gayle Schechter, GLAM Digital Exhibitions Coordinator