University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) students in classes across the university are learning how to interact directly with history through instruction sessions offered by the Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC). Sarah Bost, student success archivist, has all the duties of a typical archivist while also coordinating with faculty and staff to introduce the use of archival resources into UALR curriculum.
Bost joined the Center’s archival staff in 2014 after graduating from the University of North Carolina with a Master’s of Science in Library Science (MSLS) with a concentration in Archives and Records Management.
“Primary sources help students realize that history isn’t written by some magical, omnipotent power. Instead, our understanding of history comes from letters, emails, diaries, photographs, or meeting minutes created by someone like your or me,” states Bost. “Our knowledge of the past is only as good as the sources that survive to tell us about it.”
Having always had an interest in preserving sources of information since she was a child, Bost was drawn to archives because they allow the user to look at history on a more personal or individual level.
“I love seeing [students] have that ‘aha moment’ and gain new insight into the past,” says Bost. “It’s exciting to see what they come up with after deeply engaging with the archival material.”
To date, Bost has worked with faculty in the Departments of History, Sociology and Anthropology, and Theatre to arrange instruction sessions on accessing and using primary sources in undergraduate coursework. For more information, contact the Center at email@example.com.