Three Questions is an initiative to share the value that our faculty, students, and others in the UNT community derive from using the Unique Collections at UNT Libraries.
1. How important are Unique Collections in your teaching, learning or research?
As a student here at UNT I have found that the special collections are essential to my learning and research. I first began to utilize our unique collections while writing research papers for my upper level history courses, specifically the Portal to Texas History. The amount of resources that can be found within this collection is astonishing and I have only begun to tap into them. In the spring of 2015 I was able to enroll in a history course that exclusively dealt with the civil rights movement in Texas. This course was taught as a direct response to the newly acquired KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection. The purpose of this class was to create an online museum analyzing the importance of the crisis at Mansfield High School. During this course I spent a considerable amount of time doing research over the KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection and found that without this collection we would have missed out on a unique aspect of the crisis. In fact, because the information found in the KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection was so abundant we decided to create an entirely new exhibit just with resources from this collection.
As a researcher the information that can be found within our collections at UNT is vital to the understanding of our history. The research that I have done with special collections has allowed me to grow a greater passion for my field of study. I am proud to attend a university that supplies these truly unique collections.
2. How have Unique Collections changed the way you approach your research, teaching or learning?
Our collections here at UNT have changed the way I approach my research because of the ease at which I can access the information. Being able to access these collections so easily allows me to research more because I’m not spending time tracking down these archives at various locations. UNT is in the process of digitizing the KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection. The News Scripts and News Clips found in this archive are essential to the research that I have done for my various history classes. These collections have made my research significantly easier.
3. What do you want others to know about your research?
The research that I have done so far in my college career would not have been possible without the UNT special and digital collections, specifically the KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection and The Portal to Texas History. The news coverage found in the KXAS archive is essential to understanding the crisis at Mansfield High because these are the stories that the everyday citizens of Texas were exposed to. Even though only a small portion of these news clips have been digitized this collection offers us a unique account of the events that took place at Mansfield high school.
Caitlin Chegwidden is a junior at the University of North Texas majoring in History with a minor in Psychology. She is involved with the center for Leadership and Service on campus and is a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. She is also the Director of Archives for her chapter.