SOURCE Explore: Finding Yourself in the Archives with Special Collections Research Center

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May 24, 2024, noon
SCRC partnered with SOURCE on a new undergraduate research program, SOURCE Explore.
group standing in front of room posing for photo

The Spring 2024 cohort poses together for a group photo of after an afternoon of discussing their research.

by Jana Rosinski, SCRC Instruction & Education Librarian

This spring, the SOURCE (the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement) piloted a new undergraduate research program called SOURCE Explore. The SOURCE offers a variety of programs to foster, support and expand diverse undergraduate participation in faculty-guided scholarly research and creative inquiry (“About The SOURCE”). The SOURCE Explore programs are for students in their 1st or 2nd year with no prior research experiences but who are curious to learn more. With the guidance of an SU faculty or research staff member, students are introduced to research through hands-on activities—learning the ins and outs of research processes in a particular field of study by doing them.

In this inaugural edition of the program, both SCRC (Special Collections Research Center) and Community Geography were able to partner with the SOURCE Explore program to provide students with a unique focus. In our program, Finding Yourself in the Archives with Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), a student cohort of eleven students from colleges across campus worked with me and my colleague Amy McDonald, SCRC Reference & Access Services Librarian, in a one-month archival research residency. Over weeks of hands-on archival training workshops and one-on-one meetings, the students learned about what constitutes special collections and archives; how to find, analyze, and contextualize primary sources; and how to design and create unique creative-critical projects that explored an SCRC collection of their choosing with a topic of interest to them.

students standing in SCRC with boxes

The cohort poses with boxes of collection materials they were researching.

At the end of the residency, students presented their work and their experience at a research fair along with the concurrent program and cohort working with faculty in the Geography Department to a small audience of faculty, staff and students. Following is a brief overview of each student’s project, along with a photo of them discussing their research with audience members:


Although the program has ended, the work lives on. The students’ presentations of research can be viewed on SURFACE, Syracuse University’s digital repository, an open access resource that provides long-term preservation to a wide range of scholarship created by University students, faculty, and staff including articles, books, journals, videos and more.

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