Students, faculty, archivists, and librarians working collaboratively on a project to document the history of a university and increase student engagement? This may sound too good to be true, but at Trinity University an assignment in one of student Anh-Viet Dinh’s photography classes became a collaborative effort with librarians and faculty working together to add even more depth to an already interesting project.
To create Trinity University, Then and Now Dinh first worked with University Archivist Amy Roberson to select archival photos for the project, which superimposes original historic photos of Trinity’s campus over corresponding photographs of the campus in its current state. The photos were originally a physical collection, but as interest in the collection grew the library took on the task of creating an enduring online home for the collection in Digital Commons @ Trinity. Repository administrator and Head of Discovery Services, Jane Costanza, had been eager to start featuring non-research student work in the repository—this was not just an opportunity to meet that need, but also a special opportunity to educate a student about Creative Commons licensing and his rights as the creator of this artistic work.
Dinh’s project, which the Development Office incorporated into an annual fundraising campaign, also features student-generated descriptions of each historical image. History Professor Kathryn O’Rourke had students in her freshman research seminar, “Architecture is Awesome!” use university records and other archival documents to construct rich historical narratives for each building featured in the collection. These descriptions can be seen along with the images in the digital collection.