History Students Win U-M Library Award for “Give Earth a Chance” Website (May 2018)

In May 2018, four students in History 399, “Environmental Activism in Michigan,” won the second-place prize for undergraduate research during AY 2017-2018 in the Maize category for single-term projects, awarded by U-M Libraries and sponsored by JABberwocky Literacy Agency.  Meghan Clark, Amanda Hampton, Julia Montag, and Hannah Thoms received the award for their contributions to the digital exhibit “Give Earth a Chance: Environmental Activism in Michigan” during the Fall 2017 semester.

View the award citation here.

From the citation:

Format:  Website, Online Exhibit

The U-M Library Undergraduate Library Research Award Committee is pleased to award Second Place in the Maize Award category for Single-Term Projects to Meghan Clark, Amanda Hampton, Julia Montag, and Hannah Thoms for their project in the Department of History entitled “Give Earth a Chance: Environmental Activism in Michigan.” The four-member student team underwent the daunting task of generating the bulk of the material in a content-rich website that is, according to their professor, Matthew Lassiter, “a phenomenal accomplishment.”

Through its use of a vast array of digitized archival documents and images, interviews, multimedia, and a powerful textual narrative, this unique scholarly resource successfully provides a nuanced examination of environmental activism occurring at U-M over the past 50 years and places it in the broader national context. The committee was impressed by the team’s extensive exploration and use of primary sources within numerous archival collections in the Bentley Historical Library, within the Joseph A. Labadie Collection in the Special Collections Library, accessible via the Michigan Daily Digital Archive, and available online through other institutions and organizations. They supplemented these resources with plenty of books as well as articles from newspapers and scholarly journals.

Deftly navigating the logistics of digitization and building the website, the team coalesced an extraordinary amount of research into an online resource that Lassiter hopes will be recognized as “a model of publicly engaged and digital humanities collaborative scholarship that shows what students can accomplish in collaborative research projects.”

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