Archival Research

Many English Department faculty also have students do archival research of some kind, providing them with a fuller context for the times they are studying. They can visit local archives, use Internet materials, or explore our own collections. As one example, students in Dr. Susan Ryan's class on the history of reading have undertaken such research projects as using the university archives to examine nineteenth-century magazines and their modes of addressing an imagined readership. Students may also be assigned parcels of research as part of the preparation of an annotated edition, either print or web-based, under the direction of a faculty member, and have the opportunity to learn web-authoring in a number of English Department courses.

Someone interested in photography and/or Pee Wee Valley might work with the Kate Matthews Collection. Both the U of L Archives and the Filson Club collections contain materials related to various authors, and students might examine those materials for greater insight into authors' writings. They might do rhetorical analysis of local monuments using materials related to their erection, or study how local corporations, such as the L & N Railroad or the Belknap Hardware, presented themselves rhetorically. All such analyses could highlight and inform periods of transformation.