To date, about 90 universities around the world have a subscription to the Visual History Archive. At Michigan State University, which signed on three years ago, students and faculty benefit from an additional resource: a librarian who regularly provides training on how best to navigate the Archive.
Deborah Margolis is a kind of Visual History Archive ambassador at Michigan State, where – in addition to working as a Middle East Studies Bibliographer in the library system – she teaches workshops that guide undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers through the process of using the Archive.
Margolis flew to Los Angeles this week to visit USC Shoah Foundation. On Wednesday, she was treated to an extensive tour of the Institute, where she delved deep into indexing methodology, familiarized herself with the Institute’s new audio-only collection of Armenian Genocide survivors, and watched “The Last Goodbye,” the Institute’s award-winning virtual-reality documentary.
“I had a great day – I learned a lot to bring back,” said Margolis, who specializes in anthropology, Muslim studies and Jewish studies, and is responsible for developing library collections in these subjects.
At Michigan State, she has given crash-course Visual History Archive workshops to as many as 60 faculty and grad students at least as many undergraduates.
During the 2017-18 school year, Margolis provided librarian support for an inaugural research course for university freshmen in which they used the Archive as a primary source for a research project. Next year, she will work with students from a high school in Battlecreek, Mich. who will come to the university to work on a project commemorating the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.