From an Archive to a Digital Map Edition: Introducing the Spatial Turn to an Undergraduate Writing Course by Andrzej Rutkowski and Stacy R. Williams
This article describes the process and outcomes of working with an undergraduate writing course as they created original scholarship for a digital map edition. Traditionally, library interventions in writing courses are limited to introducing students to library resources, developing better search terms, and research strategies. More recently librarians have incorporated primary source materials from special collections and archives into some classes as a way to engage student research. We worked with a faculty writing partner to introduce students to an archive but framed the experience through the lens of spatial thinking. As part of their research process students were required to conduct a spatial ethnography and their final essay was shared via a digital map edition. One of the results of this work is that the student essays offered a new way to discover a mural archive, providing a framework for how it can be used as a data and a research collection. We discuss how we worked with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and other guidelines to develop our assignments and an active learning environment, the process of balancing GIS/data literacy with primary source instruction, and our experience as embedded librarians throughout this process.