The History Laboratory

Sarah Shippy Copeland
Records Catalog Coordinator Adjunct Instructor of History Cleveland State Community College

What is the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive?

What is the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive?

What is the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive?

What is the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive?
• Purpose: support educational endeavors • Collection areas: Historical materials from CSCC service area. • Media types: Currently photos; eventually videos, oral histories, and textual documents. • Digitization method: Volunteer Voices best practices.

• OCLC product • Organizes and presents digital objects on the web. • Popular solution for highlighting historical collections.

• 780 digital objects • 7 collections

SETDA & ServiceLearning

What is service-learning?
“book knowledge”

+ relevant service project
+ reflection exercises


The History Laboratory
• 1-credit course • 20 hours of service-learning at a local cultural heritage institution • 4 class meetings • Journal reflecting on experience • 5 (minimum) digital objects with description uploaded to the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive (SETDA)

Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate appropriate handling of historical documents. 2. Digitize historical documents using best practices. 3. Describe digitized documents using the Dublin Core metadata scheme. 4. Publish newly digitized materials to the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive (SETDA) using CONTENTdm, a tool for managing digital collections and publishing them on the world wide web. 5. Describe the public role of institutions charged with preserving historical materials.

Class Meeting #1
• Course orientation • Students receive SL assignment • General introduction to cultural heritage institutions • Document handling (demo) • Types of photographs
[Takes place before start of semester.]

Class Meeting #2
• Background for digitization • Digitization procedure for SETDA • Research instruction

[Takes place during 1st week of classes.]

20 Service-Learning Hours
• 2-hr blocks • Always at assigned institution (exception made when research needs exceed institution’s collection) • Ideally completed by Week 10 of the semester

Class Meeting #3
• Introduction to “description” • Turning research into “description”

[Takes place around Week 9 of the semester]

This is a guide for turning research into "description" for the CONTENTdm database. When a field is grayed out, it is because you shouldn't have to worry about entering any information there. Research worksheet reference

Field Name Title

Data Format Transcribe title from photograph, if possible. If there is no title, supply a title according to this standard: <who> <doing what>, <location>, <date>.


Summary Topic(s) Additional information

Approximately one paragraph explaining the I.5, II photograph and it's significance. Keywords that describe the photograph. Separate I.5, II terms by semi-colon. Websites with additional information about the subject or context of photograph. All URLs must start with http:// <lastname>, <firstname> [Separate terms by semicolon.] Use a term from CONTENTdm list. Date can be entered in the format that makes the most sense. EXAMPLE: circa 1920. Date must be in this format: YYYY-MM-DD Cleveland Public Library [blank] <quantity> <format> (<dimensions>); <color>. EXAMPLE: 1 carte de visite (2.5 x 4.5 in.); black and white. StillImage If there was any writing on the photograph, enter it here in the most exact way possible. I.4 I.5

Creator(s) Creation location Date created Date created (ISO) SETDA collection Acquired from References Physical Description

Media type Manuscript annotation(s)


Class meeting #4
• Show and tell • Reflection

[Takes place in the final week of the semester, before final exams.]

Course Strengths
• • • • • • Increased attention and support from administrators Maintaining relevance on campus Forging new roles for college librarians Exposing students to cultural heritage institutions Reinforcing “book learning” in history classroom Providing valuable service to area cultural heritage institutions • Expanding community partnerships

• You can’t crib a course like this! • Too much independence for junior college students? • Student learning heavily dependent on individual motivation • Students in too many directions /setda/

Thank you!

Image sources: Manganese prospecting:,1 National Christian Temperance Union Membership Card:,32 George R. Logan (postal carrier):,47 M.C. Kirkpatrick Salutes:,37 Blue Ridge School:,24 [Hay-making]:,130 Jail Plan Foiled:,230 Julian’s Chapel Methodist Church:,21 See more at the Southeast Tennessee Digital Archive!

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