Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2022


Teaching with primary sources, rare books, cookbooks, special collections, academic archives, academic engagement


In this case study, the authors describe a virtual event designed to enrich a campus common read with historical cookbooks. The program included an overview of the collection and a real-time activity to engage participants in virtually examining rare and unique Chinese cookbooks. A set of guiding questions emphasized primary source literacies including analyses of physical characteristics, contexts, content, and further research that can be conducted by consulting the collection. The virtual modality proved to be both a challenge and an opportunity, but the overall structure of the event - identifying a collection that relates to a larger campus initiative, presenting information about the selected collection, introducing attendees to elements related to primary source literacy, and providing an activity for attendees to interact with selected content from the collection - has potential to be adapted for multiple contexts, audiences, and disciplines. The program also afforded the opportunity for the two librarians to collaborate across library department boundaries.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.