Ground rules speed dating

This is the tale of how Special Collections worked with one particular class, History 373. Ellen Pearson, was the first digital humanities course at UNCA.

The class was small, with three teams of students, each working with a collection or collections.

Each team could spend five minutes to “date” a collection, then it was time to move on. The three teams quickly fanned out and began examining the collections, moving to different ones, talking with each other, asking us questions, and conferring with Dr. We circulated and provided more context about the collections, pointing out useful related materials that were not on display in the reading room that they might find helpful.

The reading room was abuzz with activity and collaboration, and it was clear that a number of students were excited about what they were finding.

The role of Special Collections in this process was somewhat traditional in that we were serving as a resource for materials rather than supporting the technological issues and platforms that digital humanities projects entail.

For the technology side, the class was also paired with a Computer Science class and had extensive support from the library’s Media Design Lab.

Knowing that this was a one-semester project, we kept certain parameters in mind as we curated collections for this “speed dating” class, selecting collections that met the following criteria: Why this emphasis on pre-selecting collections?

At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to.

You’re guaranteed to meet new people, and maybe that special someone.

Cost is only per person and includes your first drink.

Usually advance registration is required for speed dating events.

Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.

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