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Introduction to Archives

This workshop introduces participants to archives.

Introduction to Archives

What are archives, how do you find them, and how (and why) do you use them in your research? 

This workshop introduces participants to archives, as cultural heritage institutions, as well as to archives, as material objects. Participants will gain hands-on experience with archival materials, selected in collaboration with the faculty member, with items ranging from diaries, letters, photographs, and drafts of writings. Participants will also learn how to find archives and how to read finding aids.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Be able to define what archives are and how they might be used in research.
  • Understand the difference between libraries and archives.
  • Know where to locate archives at the University of Victoria and other cultural heritage institutions.
  • Know the etiquette and procedures for conducting research at cultural heritage institutions.
  • Understand how to read a finding aid.

Pre-class videos, readings and exercises

Please consult the following handout prior to visiting Special Collections and University Archives.

In class activities and instruction

Each workshop is designed in collaboration with faculty so as to meet the specific needs of the course. In general participants will be introduced to:

References/ additional readings

Collections-based learning, which incorporates rare and unique materials into the curriculum, provides an opportunity for participants to develop primary source literacy. For more information on primary source literacy, see the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.