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JRLC 5490 History of Mass Media in the United States-SP21: Home

Guide to assignment and resources for course that draws upon digitized content to complete the assiignments

About this Course Guide

This course guide provides information about a range of digital archives you can use to locate inspiration artifacts for your assignment.  The guide includes a special focus on the Digital Library of Georgia  which serves as a gateway for accessing digital collections of materials from many libraries, archives, and museums in Georgia including the special collections here at UGA.  The guide also includes some general tips for searching for historical materials as well information about   secondary source materials to support your research project. 

Archival Assignment

Archival Video Project
US Media History, Spring 2021

For this project, you will tell a story (on video) about media history. You’ll find an historic artifact from among the digitized collections of three UGA special collections departments and use it as inspiration. You’ll research other primary and secondary sources to write your script. You’ll build a visual presentation and record yourself on Kaltura in e-LC telling your story lecture-style. Your video story should be no longer than 10 minutes and posted on our discussion board. You’ll turn in your source list, too, in the assignments portal. 

The hardest part of this project will be finding your inspiration artifact because there are so many choices of topics and so many digital collections to browse. I am open to a variety of options, as long as you can relate your project to media history and your inspiration artifact comes from one of the three UGA Special Collections. Your artifact could be an old letter, photograph, oral history interview, court document, newspaper, magazine, postcard, film/TV/radio clip, etc., etc. 

For example, if you are interested in Civil Rights history, you could search in UGA’s Special Collections Libraries for digitized WSB-Television footage of the Augusta riots. That artifact could inspire you to tell us the story of the riots and also how television impacted the Civil Rights movement.  If you are interested in women’s history, a suffrage poster from the early 20th century could inspire a story on how newspapers in Georgia covered women’s fight for the right to vote. You could use a broadside posted in Athens, Ga., in 1867 announcing a new mail delivery business to tell us about outdoor advertising history. You could use a copy of the Cherokee Phoenix, a Native-American newspaper published in 1828, to talk about how marginalized groups have made their voices heart historically. You could select an editorial cartoon from Atlanta Journal cartoonist Clifford Baldowski to explore editorial voice in mainstream newspapers. 

Important note: Because of COVID restrictions, we will focus only on artifacts that have already been digitized and made available online.

Where to begin? You might start the brainstorming process with a topic that interests you, and then search to see if you can find a primary artifact. Or you might just browse through the archive collections until you come across something that piques your interest. Then the research begins. Be creative!

Elements I will be looking for in your project:

  • Do you show and explain your inspiration artifact? 15 points
  • Is your artifact at least 40 years old?  10 points
  • Does your story tell me something about media history? 25 points
  • Does it provide context using primary and secondary sources? 20 points
  • Have you illustrated your story? 15 points
  • Is your story well told (well written)? 10 points
  • Source list turned in? 5 points
  • Total = 100 points

Where to begin: The Digital Library of Georgia contains a rich array of materials digitized from the three UGA special Collections:

Representatives from these three libraries will meet with us via Zoom on February 5, 2021 to share:

  • an overview of the collections,
  • a specific look at each libraries digital holdings,
  • and a demonstration of how to search for these digital materials in the Digital Library of Georgia (the primary repository for most of UGA special collections digital materials). 

These representatives will meet with you again via Zoom on February 12, 2021 to answer questions and  help locate materials. 

At the end of the semester, we’ll work in groups to see who told the best story. Each group will nominate a finalist, and then we’ll all vote on the winner. Have some fun with this!

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Jill Severn
Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries
300 South Hull St.

Mary Miller

Profile Photo
Mary Miller
Richard B. Russell Building
UGA Special Collections Libraries
300 S. Hull St.

Subject Guide