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The Manuscripts Archives and Special Collections (MASC) (Links to an external si

by | Sep 1, 2022 | English | 0 comments


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The Manuscripts Archives and Special Collections (MASC) (Links to an external site.) department of the WSU Libraries is responsible for collecting, preserving, and displaying rare items of historical value, such as documents, visual media, photographs, letters, and much more. For this assignment, you will select an item that appears in an online exhibit, such as a photograph or letter. You’ll consider the item as part of the larger exhibit and any ethical decisions made by the curators. You’ll also provide a brief summary of the item, using your developing library skills to note any additional information or context that wasn’t provided as part of the exhibit.
How to complete this assignment:
1. Access the MASC homepage here (Links to an external site.)
2. Access the exhibits from the homepage menu or here (Links to an external site.)
3. Select an exhibit that contains a digital display, such as “Protest! Students, War, & Racism: WSU Student Activism, 1969-1970.” (Links to an external site.)
4. Choose an item from an exhibit.
5. Write a bibliographic entry for the item. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has an excellent guide for how to cite different types of museum materials (Links to an external site.).
6. Provide a brief description of the item. Tell us what kind of an item it is and describe the contents in detail.
7. Provide any additional context. For this you may need to do a little sleuthing. Search the names of the people/places shown or referenced. If an event is referenced, can you find out more about it? Where does this take place? There are no required elements here because your items may vary widely, but see if you can find anything else to tell us. If you can’t, sometimes that in and of itself is worthwhile information.
8. Note any ethical considerations for the curator. Was this a private letter? Is it an image that depicts violence? You don’t have to read the curator’s mind, but consider any potential issues that you would take into account before presenting this item to the public.
9. Submit a link to or screenshot of the item and a document with the citation and a 350-500 word description of the item.
Please note, I’ve designed the assignment around the MASC so that I could provide links and succinct instructions. However, if your field of interest or just plain curiosity leads you in another direction, please feel free to profile an item from another museum’s online exhibition.
Ideas might include:
Boston Museum of Science (Links to an external site.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Links to an external site.)
National Museum African American History and Culture (Links to an external site.)
National Museum of Health and Medicine (Links to an external site.)
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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