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Cornell University: “Student-Librarian Partnership Makes History”

From a Cornell Chronicle Article by Jose Beduya:

Image: Cornell University

Throughout the spring semester, the inaugural RAD Public History Fellows have been digging deep into library archives and bringing their discoveries to light in creative ways – from social media posts to displays of artifacts and tours of library exhibits.

Cornell University Library and the Cornell Public History Initiative (PHI) launched the fellowship for undergraduate students in January, pairing them with curators and archivists in the library’s rare and distinctive (RAD) collections as they engage in hands-on research and curatorial work.


“The PHI is dedicated to creating new pathways for students to think about how historical knowledge is produced,” Vider said. “This new partnership with RAD not only provides students a critical opportunity to learn about archival practices first hand. It also provides a space for students to engage with larger ethical questions about power and access that shape those practices and determine whose stories get preserved and shared.”

Apart from one-on-one mentorship, the fellows have been meeting as a group to discuss critical readings and to participate in workshops and presentations by curators and archivists from different parts of the library and across campus.

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