CURE for the Common Paper: Supporting Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in Archives and Special Collections

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Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students with an opportunity to learn applied skills while tackling original research questions. These experiences go beyond a typical analysis paper and instead focus on research as an iterative, collaborative process. Special collections librarians, archivists, and other staff working with rare and unique collections can advocate for CUREs to enhance undergraduates’ learning experiences and closely collaborate with course instructors. This can draw undergraduate students into special collections and support more engaged, creative uses of archival and special collections.

This session will cover basic knowledge to help librarians, archivists, and other staff in archives and special collections advocate for integrating course-based undergraduate research experiences into curricula at their institution. Benefits and challenges of CUREs will be discussed using case studies to illustrate concepts.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

Understand core components of an effective course-based undergraduate research experience
Identify potential challenges in managing course-based undergraduate research experiences
Articulate the value of course-based undergraduate research experiences in an archives/special collections library
Advocate for course-based undergraduate research experiences in discussions with teaching faculty


Erin Lawrimore is the University Archivist and Associate Professor in the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a position she has held since 2011. In this role, she is responsible for collecting, preserving, and promoting the history of UNCG from its creation as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1891 through today. Her research interests include community-engaged archival practice, American archives history and development, and the history of beer and brewing in North Carolina.

Erin holds a B.A. in English from Duke and am M.S. in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been an active member of the Society of American Archivists since 2001 and served on the organization’s Council from 2016-2019. She also serves as a Lecturer in the School of Information at San Jose State University.

Academic library: 4 year and graduate; Special Library; Archives
This webinar is presented in Eastern time.

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