Are you a librarian, archivist or educator seeking new ways to engage your community with collections? If so, Hosting a History Unfolded Research Sprint is for you.
What Is A Research Sprint?
A History Unfolded research sprint is a organized event during which groups of citizen historians gather to research one or more History Unfolded events in a specific collection of newspapers. Usually, research sprints are held for a few hours at a library, archive, or historical society where newspaper collections are readily accessible. Occasionally, groups engage in “virtual sprints” where participants agree to research a specific event or events during a defined time period using online collections. Sometimes, sprints combine both approaches.
Why Research Sprints?
The first History Unfolded research sprint was pioneered by Dr. Matthew Delmont at Arizona State University, and since then, we have found that educators and organizations implement research sprints for a number of reasons:
- Well-organized sprints provide an excellent experience for History Unfolded participants. Participants come together in-person (and often online) at the same time for a common purpose. They meet others who are passionate about historical research and learning the lessons of the Holocaust. They get to share their experiences with others during the event and afterwards.
- Sprint organizers can set group goals for their event — aiming for a target number of articles and/or research from newspapers published in particular states or counties. Such goals are great motivators for project citizen historians and exciting opportunities for organizers.
- Sprints organizers may create “themes” for their sprint with a focus on particular years in history and/or History Unfolded events.
Organizations can dove-tail their own objectives with those of the History Unfolded project, invite guest speakers or experts to answer participant questions, etc.
What Do You Need To Get Started?
The two most important ingredients for a successful research sprint are advanced planning and making use of our research sprint materials. Here is everything you need to get started
- Main Hosting a Research Sprint Guide
- Event Modules (available to print out as needed)
- Researcher Instructions
- Research Template (for completely information on a discovered newspaper article)
- Research Tips
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo/Video Release for Adults and Photo/Video Release Form For Minors (we would love to showcase photos from your sprint; email us: historyunfolded [at] ushmm [dot] org)