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?
The UNT Special Collections provides an exciting experience for both beginning researchers and veterans in the research field. While researching the Mansfield desegregation crisis I, and several other students, were able to use oral histories, transcripts, video, and other media available in Special Collections. Most, if not all, of this collection had never been researched, making this a truly original research experience. Giving students the opportunity to research and explore these collections gives them a refreshing outlook on what education should be all about.
2. How have Unique Collections changed the way you approach your research, teaching or learning?
Unique Collections at UNT have opened my eyes to how much unexplored information we have here at UNT in several different fields, including history. UNT’s partnership with NBC’s KXAS collection has opened the door for more research into the future for students, professors, and researchers in general. I learned to better navigate through large collections, many of which contain thousands of pieces of information. Experience with this collection makes a student better understand how thorough and extensive historical research has to be.
3. What do you want others to know about your research?
My experience with the collection dealt with the Mansfield desegregation crisis that occurred in 1956. Besides utilizing the UNT Special Collections, I also was able to look through important memorandums, newspapers, and press releases of the incident at the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin, Texas. If anyone is interested to learn more about the Mansfield Crisis, or the history of desegregation in Texas in general, they should visit mansfieldcrisis.omeka.net. This project was a great collaborative effort and much of its success is due to our great mentors, Dr. Moye and Dr. Torget.
Blerim Elmazi is a senior at the University of North Texas double majoring in Political Science and History. He is a member of the UNT Honors College and is currently writing a thesis on third parties and campaign finance in American politics. After graduation he will attend law school in the fall semester.