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INFS 340 Research in Special Collections and Archives

Students will explore the history of libraries and special research collections around the world and be introduced to field research in local special library/archive collections at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis Central Library (Hennepin County) and the St. Paul Public Library. Online research with digital special collections from around the United States will also be a part of the course, including virtual discussions with curators. Students will have an opportunity to develop individual research projects, work as interns or explore other special projects using these unique special collections. All students welcome and supplemental instructional units will be provided for students who have not had library database instruction.


Learning outcomes


  • Students will develop skills in research using primary resources.
  • Students will explore the history of libraries through required class texts.
  • Students will participate in a community of learners that will discuss a variety of topics related to libraries, books, specific archival materials and special collections.
  • Students will explore community and university libraries and museum archives/collection materials available for scholars and can demonstrate their understanding of the purpose of the collections through written papers.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to plan an upper division university level research project using materials from special collections.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 1: Communication

  • Understand/demonstrate the writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing and presentation.
  • Participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
  • Locate, evaluate, and synthesize in a responsible manner material from diverse sources and points of view.
  • Select appropriate communication choices for specific audiences.
  • Construct logical and coherent arguments.
  • Use authority, point-of-view, and individual voice and style in their writing and speaking.
  • Employ syntax and usage appropriate to academic disciplines and the professional world.

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Research in Special Collections and Archives Filkins, Michelle Marie Books for INFS-340-50 Spring 2024 Course details for INFS-340-50 Spring 2024