Outreach Collaborative Idea: Providing “Real World” Client Experience

This collaboration began in the fall of 2010 and continued through the spring of 2011, with plans to continue due to its success as an experiential learning experience and promotional tool for Special Collections.

Special Collections of Georgia College & State University deems promotion and outreach an important goal as it is more important than ever to validate the significance of archival materials and services, especially during current economic difficulties. To achieve this, collaborations were implemented to provide educational experiences for authentic learning and impactful promotion of the department’s rotating exhibit and special projects. Generally, the department works with history, English, political science and other liberal arts majors. However, a simple conversation brought together an unlikely pairing; Special Collections and a (Marketing/Communications) Publications Design class. 

Special Collections and the class teamed up to create a “real-world” client-based experience. In this collaboration, students learned about the importance of primary source research and the function of archives. Special Collections then tasked the students to design two posters (using the department’s photographs) advertising a future exhibit, “Health Education in Review” and the department’s oral history initiative, “The Legacy Project.” A week after projects were assigned, students presented their proofs to Special Collections staff members who critiqued posters for clarity of information and visual impact. The students then spent two weeks editing their work. Special Collections’ personnel made a final visit to select the two winning poster designs which were showcased on campus and throughout the local area. 

Special Collections would like to thank Professor Macon McGinley for providing the opportunity and enthusiasm for this exciting experience and to congratulate 2011’s two winners, Michele McGuire and Diane Health. McGuire said, “I loved the creative freedom associated with designing a poster for Special Collections’ Legacy Project. As a student, I am sincerely appreciative of the educational opportunity and the recognition of my design as it is showcased around the Milledgeville community.” Heath stated that “the ‘Health Education in Review’ exhibit is full of books and lessons that our alumni were taught. It was interesting to see what information was taught back then to help students stay healthy in every aspect of their lives.”

Please contact Special Collections for further information about the Legacy Project, exhibit, or collaboration by calling (478) 445-0988 or by emailing scinfo@gcsu.edu.

*Contributed by Katherine Pope, Georgia College & State University.

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