Thinking Outside the Archival Box

As an archivist, it isn’t often that someone comes in to use the collections in an unconventional way and challenges me to think outside the box.   That’s why I feel it necessary to share this little story with you.  I recently had the pleasure of working with some New Media Majors at the University of North Carolina – Asheville who challenged my traditional reference approach by creating something a little different from the average student research paper.   Because their field of study was so different then what I’m used to, they had a new and refreshing way of looking at the historical materials and brought a fresh enthusiasm to the search.  The end result,  a mini-documentary that is more poignant in its twelve-minute length than any twelve page paper I could ever write.   Drew Glover and Kevin Boggs might have been the students but they definitely taught me a thing or two.   Black Mountain College: A Child’s Recollection confirms that thinking outside the archival box is an indulgence we should do more often.