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Teaching with Objects: Historic Dress: Home

November 15 RIO workshops for Five College Teaching, Learning and Research Librarians and December 6 seminar with Five College collection stewards.

What is Object Based Learning?

Artifacts, we believe, are, and were, important. According to anthropologist Daniel Miller, objects “continually assert their presence as simultaneously material force and symbol. They frame the way we act in the world, as well as the way we think about the world.” To understand the past, we have to understand the artifacts of the past. Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick

Historic Dress Project online


The Historic Dress student assistants are pinning to the Five Colleageana Pinterest board.

Dickinson House

Dickinson HouseThe themes of the board:
1. historic dress (ca. 1770 - 1930) from any of the Five Colleges museums, archives, and library collections
2. women who attended or were connected with any of the Five Colleges (ca. 1830 - 1930) 
Pins can include historic photographs, images of paintings or sculpture depicting women in dress of the period. It could include an oral history of someone talking about historic dress. It can include blog posts and news items. It just has to meet the two criteria mentioned above.
Students were asked to:
add short descriptions to your pins. Try to add words that are about the clothing depicted. For example, "Farm girls from the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now UMass Amherst) wearing overalls and kerchiefs."
play with rearranging the board to make specific points about women and dress, for example: by date? by clothing type? etc.
look at where your pins are coming from. If they are in blogs, can you track down the original source?
re-pin from other boards. Who has similar collecting habits? How do others use historic dress to explore different themes, for example: historic fashion trends, gender issues, etc.
compare/contrast pinning to the cataloging work they are doing in ohter systems. What are you learning, what surprises you?
get creative. what else can you do with Pinterest?

Workshop Team

Arden Kirkland

Elisa Lanzi

Kiki Smith

Agenda: Nov. 15

2:00 Tour of the Smith College Historic Clothing Collection

2:45 Introductions and Warm-up

3:00 Insider's View of Historic Dress

3:20 Think Tank

1. What research questions have you encountered in your instruction that might connect with the Historic Dress project?

2. What content and features would make Historic Dress valuable as a resource for your students and faculty?

3. How do you use cultural heritage collections (e.g., museum) in your teaching? What features make them useful?What features (or lack thereof) prevent them from being useful

How would students want to engage with and use resources like Historic Dress?

What innovative approaches might faculty apply in courses using Historic Dress?

How might we best promote the Historic Dress project? For example, could the new Five College LibGuide template help us to in disseminating Historic Dress resources in the local libraries and beyond?

3:55 Report out and wrap up