The archival profession is currently embracing primary source literacy in significant ways and fostering important conversations about diversity, inclusion, and affect in libraries and archives. This all contributes to concrete steps toward change and a more open conception of who uses archives and how, and what the impact could be. Taking one student’s experience from a series of assignments designed to encourage archival research and discovery of community history, the authors encourage the serious consideration of the emotional impact of primary source materials, particularly those that reveal underrepresented historical narratives, and their power to connect students to complex, larger narratives that can inform their understanding of their place in the world and within broader cultural contexts. As conversations about primary source literacy, diversity and inclusion, and affect continue to grow and inspire new standards, archivists should consider the ways these areas overlap and can inform one another. Intentionally and explicitly including affective impact and cultural competence in primary source literacy guidelines could guide priorities and practices toward better teaching students and better serving users and communities.
Jaycie Vos is the Special Collections Coordinator and University Archivist at the University of Northern Iowa. There, she aims to document, preserve, and share university and regional history with students and the broader community. Vos earned her master's degree in library science at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 and her master's in folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2018. Yadira Guzman is an undergraduate at the University of Northern Iowa and a native Waterloo resident. She is interested in studying community history and learning about underrepresented narratives.
Vos, Jaycie and Guzman, Yadira
"Understanding My Home: The Potential for Affective Impact and Cultural Competence in Primary Source Literacy,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 10
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol10/iss1/6