UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center to receive 2018 Governor’s Archives Award

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center (ARC) will be presented with the 2018 Governor’s Archives Award for Archival Innovation. An award presentation will be held Wednesday, October 24 at 4:00 p.m. in the Archives of David A. Cofrin Library, Room 705, UW-Green Bay. The Wisconsin Historical Society will present the award.

“The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center is receiving this award for expanding the audiences served at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, specifically, broadening the use and study of archival collections across the undergraduate curriculum,” said Matt Blessing, State Archivist for the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Along with the formal award presentation, which lands during “Archives Month,” the program will include brief remarks by UW-Green Bay Provost Greg Davis and faculty members Alison Staudinger and Caroline Boswell.

The ARC demonstrated how it has effectively expanded experiential learning across the undergraduate curriculum, moving beyond established partnerships with humanities disciplines to reach new and diverse audiences. Archivist Deb Anderson is cited for “effectively building flexible instructional programs involving disciplines within the social sciences, first year seminars, public policy, nutrition, education, and human development.”

Expanding archival learning opportunities across the university curriculum required careful planning, engagement, and significant collaborations by the UW-Green Bay Archives: Examples

  • In a freshmen-level course, Everybody Dies!, students were introduced to coroner’s reports, condolence letters and diaries of the terminally ill. More than 100 first-year undergraduates considered the concepts of death and dying by exploring historical records.
  • For a course on prison voices, the archivist identified prisoner case files, warden records and prison inspection reports.
  • Collections of cartoons were used by political science students to curate a gallery exhibit.

These innovative research experiences required extensive use of the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network transfer system, including the transfer of state government records from Madison to the UW-Green Bay ARC.

“It is an honor to receive the “2018 Governor’s Award for Archival Innovation,” Archivist Anderson says.  “We value the opportunities we have to connect university students to the stories of the past through archival records. It is truly gratifying to witness students and faculty embracing historical materials in original and pioneering ways.”

This is not the first time the UW-Green Bay Archives has been recognized for its work. In 2005, Anderson won the Governor’s Archives Award for Advocacy.

“The Archives Instruction and Outreach program has taken years to develop and grow, and because of its success, we are now seeing an ever-increasing interest by faculty to give their students the opportunities to work with primary materials by collaborating with the Archives,” notes Paula Ganyard, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Library Services. “This ever-growing interest also has resulted in an increase in non-traditional presentations of historical research by students. While the traditional term paper still exists, we now see projects such as Twitter reenactments of historical events, the creation of oral histories, and even art exhibits developed by students as ways students are sharing their research.”

The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board (WHRAB) and the Wisconsin Historical Society award the Governor’s Archives Award to individuals, programs or organizations that have made significant contributions to preserving or increasing the availability of original historical documents in any format. For more information visit wisconsinhistory.org.

Story by UW-Green Bay Marketing and University Communication and Wisconsin Historical Society.

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