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FromThePage User Guide

Teaching with From The Page

Why Teach with From The Page?

Transcription activites offer unique opportunities in the classroom. Consider some of the following learning outcomes:

  • Close Reading: Transcription activities encourage close reading and therefore deeper comprehension of primary sources. Use transcription activities to prompt students to interpret, summarize or translate readings. 
  • Participatory contribution and Invitation to scholarly conversation: Transcription activities are participation in and a contribution to the conversation within a topic or collection. Students are participating as scholars and adding their voice to the record. 
  • Research as ongoing endeavor: Transcription with a tool like From the Page acknowledges the ongoing and participatory nature of research.
  • Feminist pedagogical principles: Transcription activities offer opportunities to incorporate these principles into your teaching, including focusing on local or obscure voices and how we recover them, collaboration and emphasis on the relationship between subject and researcher. Transcription exercises also acknowledge the omissions and gaps in our collecting practices and public memory. 
  • Ethic of care for a subject: Most projects with primary sources offer opportunities to teach about the responsibilities we have to subjects when working with archival materials.

Suggested Activities

See considerations below when making decisions around using these activities / tool in the classroom.

Things to consider when teaching with this tool

Working with primary sources takes time. Working with digital tools takes time. These suggested considerations are a starting point for planning to teach with From The Page. Technological considerations are covered elsewhere in this guide and workshop. 

  • Is this a semester long or short term project?
  • Is the transcription part of a group project or independent inquiry?
  • How much subject knowledge does the student need before interacting with these artifacts?
  • Is this tool inclusive? Will students experience any barriers when using this tool?
  • From The Page has you working with digital facsimiles. Consider the rich opportunities interacting with original artifacts allows and supplement your course work with visits to archives and special collections so students get a fuller picture of the infrastructure, considerations and expertise that go into archives and public memory. Talk to a librarian about the primary sources we have here on campus.
  • Build in ample time for students to hone skills in primary source literacies.
  • Ethics: Transcription takes time and it represents participation in scholarship. Consider the ethics surrounding student labor and giving credit to them as scholars. FERPA dictates requirements around student participation in online environments so plan accordingly. 
  • Copyright / Fair Use: Remember that Fair Use is a right that we need to exercise so we can maintain it. As you make decisions around copyright and fair use, incorporate these lessons into your coursework so students can be a part of the process and develop these lifelong skills. 


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Elise Nacca
Perry-CastaƱeda (Main) Library (PCL)

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