UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture receives grant to digitize historic materials

Lauren Fontaine, a graduate assistant with the Center for Arkansas History and Culture,

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) has received a $14,950 grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to make digitized records accessible to educators who are teaching virtually next year.

“History Alive: Virtually!” is a five-part project that will generate a list of digitized holdings for the public, increase the number of items accessible digitally, create virtual collections, design curriculum guides, and provide workshops for educators on how to use the new materials.

“We anticipate a lot of teachers will be teaching online this fall, so we applied to complete a project where we make an index of items that are already digitized in our collections,” said Laura McClellan, assistant director of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture.

The center will create 10 virtual collections with particular themes, such as civil rights or health. CAHC project staff will work with Arkansas teachers to develop workshops that help them locate digitized primary source material and advance technical skills. CAHC will also create a series of curriculum guides designed to meet state social studies frameworks.

The grant money, which is funded through the CARES Act for COVID-19 relief, will be used to hire a historian and a graduate assistant to help with the project, which will be completed by March 31, 2021. This work will involve licensed K-12 teachers, CAHC staff, and UA Little Rock history faculty.

“This project is very timely,” McClellan said. “K-12 teachers and college educators have had to adapt quickly to technology that allows them to teach students remotely. We will be sharing resources with those who need them the most.”

In the upper right photo, Lauren Fontaine, a graduate assistant, works in the Center for Arkansas History and Culture.

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