• The Virtual Blockson: Immersive Technologies for Teaching Primary Source Literacy on the African Diaspora

      Clark, Jasmine; Wermer-Colan, Alex; Clark|0000-0003-0674-6535 (2020-06-14)
      By overviewing a collaborative project between Temple University’s Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, and local Philadelphia educators, this essay explores how experimentation with immersive technology can enhance the work of librarians and teachers seeking to teach primary source literacy. As a recreation of the space and the experience of visiting the Blockson Collection through interactive game-play and multimedia 3D content, the Virtual Blockson aims to combat black erasure from the historical record and school curricula, introducing students to the roles they can play in history’s creation and preservation. This essay will highlight the Virtual Blockson’s design for integrating the Society of American Archivists’ Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy, as well as the Common Core standards for historical understanding and critical thinking. Digital humanities projects that remediate special collections with interactive spatial simulations can offer promising opportunities to contextualize and explore the imbrication of primary source and digital literacies for marginalized communities.