Experience of The Collections Building at Georgia State University

Researching the Women’s/ Gender and Sexuality Collections was a very eye-opening experience. Ms. Gerrard, the head of that department, gave a thorough research example as she guided us through the process of archival research. It started out with just a mugshot of a criminal but then we dug deeper to different artifacts to get his name, his colleagues, his occupation, and why he was being arrested. This was very intriguing to me personally because this type of archival research can be used in different categories other than Women’s/ Gender and Sexuality. Answering questions from each artifact such as “who, what, where, when, how” gave deeper insight on what exactly we’re supposed to be looking for and how all of the sources are connected with one another. The example she used of Andrew Wood, a radical protester on rights for all people, was a great example to me because just going through the archives and different metadata helped me learn a lot about him just through simple things like pictures of his arrest document, pictures of a protest going on that he was a part of, and a list of people who he worked with. Metadata is so important because it shows connections through different categories. Metadata gives a lot of information that is specific to the research we are looking for. She mentioned that all of history is valuable when she showed us a protest sign that they used. All of the little things usually overlooked are actually quite important to our research and can be used.

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