Special Collections Libraries Fellows

special collections logo

Program Overview

In 2015, the University of Georgia Libraries and the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) established a faculty development opportunity for individuals who teach full-time at The University of Georgia to explore archives-based learning as a high impact learning practice through intensive workshops with archivists in the University’s special collections libraries: Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection.  Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows apply this learning to adapt an existing course or to develop a new course to include an archives-focused approach to the pedagogy and the course content. This program is inspired by the comprehensive work of TeachArchives.org

Archives-Based Learning

special collections imageEffective archives-based learning enhances student engagement, performance, and retention across all higher education disciplines.  Students who engage with primary sources in an archives setting build observation and summarization skills, learn to work collaboratively to analyze information and solve problems, and discover the sensory and emotional impact of handling historical materials. These skills and experiences help students understand and value the interconnected processes of research and analysis that draw upon many resources, approaches, and viewpoints to generate rigorous scholarship.

Archives-based learning works best when instructors and archivists collaborate to craft archives-centered assignments and projects that align with course goals, provide clear learning objectives, offer guidance and direction, balance logistical constraints, and illuminate the intrinsic value of historical materials for research and for life. The Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows (SCL Fellows) program provides a wonderful, engaging, and exciting archives-centered faculty development experience in a convivial and collaborative environment that values experimentation, reflection, and, yes, even fun!

Program Goals

  • To integrate what research tells us about the value of archives-centered pedagogy into undergraduate and graduate learning;
  • To provide scholars with a strong foundation in archival and library principles that support robust discovery and integration of relevant special collections materials;
  • To provide teaching faculty with support for developing innovative archives–centered pedagogical approaches in their courses;special collections image
  • To provide faculty with opportunities for sharing ideas with other dedicated, highly-motivated, and innovative teachers from various disciplines;
  • To provide faculty with opportunities for building partnerships and collaborations with UGA Special Collections archivists and librarians;
  • To allow faculty to access personalized consulting and instructional assistance from the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning;
  • To provide funding for an instructional project rooted in the unique collections and resources of the UGA Special Collections Libraries;
  • To cultivate an innovative instructional environment that honors and recognizes dedicated teaching scholars and promotes a learning community spirit on a large campus.

Selection of Participants 


Applicants must be full-time employees of the University of Georgia who commit to teaching their new or revamped archives-centered course within 18 months of completing the formal training of the Fellows program. The SCL Fellows program is open to all University teaching faculty, tenure-track and non-tenure track. Demonstrated passion for and commitment to excellence in teaching, and an interest in experimentation and innovation in approaches and techniques are key factors for selection. Consistent attendance and robust participation in the activities of the program are essential. Attendance at the 4-day May Institute is required. (See timetable below.)

Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows Stipend 

The SCL Fellows program provides instructional support and a $2000 stipend. The funds may be used to enhance a fellow’s knowledge about archives, archival theory and practice, or archives-based pedagogy through participation in and/or attendance at professional workshops or conferences. The funds may also be used towards research, preparation, and development of the archives-focused course including hiring a University of Georgia student to perform work to support these activities. Fellows may also use these funds to buy supplies or equipment in direct support of the course. Fellows may apply fund towards course buyout during the period in which they are developing their archives-centered course or in the same semester when they are teaching their archives-centered course. (The application of stipend funds towards buyout is subject to any and all rules that govern such arrangements in the departments of Fellows). The stipend may not be applied to a Fellow’s salary.  Fellows have 24 months from disbursement to expend stipend funds and to report how they have made use of the funds.

Application Process

The program continues annually with a call for application in mid-August, application deadline in early October, interviews with prospective participants in October and early November, and selection of cohort members in mid-November.

2019/2020 SCL Fellows Cohort Application


Important Dates 

  • 2020 SCL Fellows Program Deadline to Apply: Monday, October 7, 2019
  • 2020 SCL Fellows Program Cohort Selected: Friday, November 8, 2019

2019/2020 SCL Fellows Program Description and Schedule

All events take place in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries Building, University of Georgia, 300 South Hull Street, Athens, Georgia.

December Kickoff Events

The program begins in early December with a welcome meeting and dinner for new Fellows that also serves as a reunion with past Fellows cohorts. The following day, new Fellows will participate in the first workshop of the Fellows program.

  • SCL Fellows Welcome and Reunion Dinner, 4-7:30 p.m., December 4, 2019
  • SCL Fellows Introductory Workshop, 8:30-3 p.m.,December 5, 2019

Spring Semester Workshops

From January through April 2020 the formal instructional program continues with workshops and individual conferences.  Workshops occur on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-4:30 p.m.  SCL Instructional Team schedule will set specific conference meeting times with SCL fellows during the two conference weeks identified below. 

SCL Workshop Dates:

  • 2:30-4:30 p.m., January 15 and 29, 2020
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m., February 12 and 26, 2020
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m., March 18, 2020 SCL Fellows Workshop
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m., April 1 and 15, 2020, SCL Fellows Workshop

SCL Conference Session Weeks
The instructional program includes two weeks for individual conferences for fellows to meet with the SCL instructional team. The first conference week in early March focuses on questions and ideas about specific archives-centered approaches and their application to specific instructional objectives. The second conference week in late April focuses on questions and ideas about broader course planning using archives-centered approaches

Conference Week Dates:

  • March 2-6, 2020, 2-hour meetings with each fellow (time is tbd )
  • April 27-May 1, 2020, 2-hour meetings with each fellow (time is tbd )

May Institute

Beginning Monday, May 11, 2020 and concluding on Thursday, May 14, 2020, the formal instructional phase of the SCL Fellows Program concludes with an intensive, 4-day institute.  Each day, from 8:30-3 p.m., fellows will present course and assignment plans to each other for feedback, conduct in-depth research, and meet with representatives to learn about useful campus resources.

May Institute Dates:

  • May 11, 12, 13 14, 2020

Continuing Support and Collaboration

The Special Collections Libraries Fellows committee provides support and assistance to Fellows to manage the final development of the courses through group meetings and individual conferences. SCL Fellows provide assessment of their experiences of the Fellows program instruction after the institute in May and again following their experience of teaching their archives-centered course.

Program Contacts:
For more information about the Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows program, please contact Jill Severn at jsevern@uga.edu or 706-542-5766.

Special Collections Libraries/ Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Team

Chuck Barber

Associate Director of Public Services and Outreach
Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library 

Mazie Bowen
Public Service Coordinator
University Libraries, Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries

Anne DeVine
Outreach and Access Coordinator for Rare Books
Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library 

Mary Miller

Peabody Awards Collection Cataloger
Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection 

Jill Severn
Head of Access and Outreach
Richard B Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Alice Hunt
Assistant Director for Instructional Development
Center for Teaching and Learning

Click Here to view Special Collections Library Fellows Former Members (PDF)

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602