Case Library at BHSU inspires history education for future teachers

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, March 22, 2016/Categories: 2016

Left to right, Desiree Bazemore, elementary education major from Gillette, Wyo., and McKean Madsen, elementary education major from Gillette, Wyo., visit the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies on the Black Hills State University campus to examine historical artifacts first-hand, inspiring future projects and curricula for their classrooms.

Education students in Dr. Cody Lawson's social studies methods course at Black Hills State University got their own lesson in history recently while examining artifacts in the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies on campus.

Lawson, an assistant professor in the BHSU School of Education, said this is the third semester she's brought her students to participate in the archival rotation day at the Case Library.

"Our students go around to different stations set up in the archive rooms and fill out an analysis sheet. This is an exercise they can modify with their own students someday, whether they're reviewing a written historical document, a sound recording or an artifact," said Lawson.

Kaitlyn Erickson, elementary and speech education major from Spearfish, reviewed the hand-drawn fire maps housed in the Case Library's collections.

"There were locations marked on the maps where the fires happened and the information on the map was classified by different inscriptions. We don't see these types of hand-drawn maps anymore everything is digital now," said Erickson. "This will be a good place to remember when we're looking for resources for our classrooms."

Bobbi Sago, special collections librarian/archivist at BHSU, said Leland Case was a prominent historian who grew up in the Black Hills. Case wanted to establish a premier research collection in the Black Hills, and he chose BHSU as the site.

"Case donated his personal library as the nucleus to our collection here at BHSU. We've grown over the years to include other gifts and collections with a focus on the Black Hills, South Dakota, and the northern Great Plains," said Sago.

The collections at the Case Library include books, maps, architectural drawings, newspapers, Lawrence County tax records and ledgers, among other historical documents.

Lawson says her students leave the archival day at Case Library with a better understanding of the wealth of resources available to them and their future students.

"Most of the curriculum for K-5 social studies is on local state history," said Lawson. "The information housed here is perfect. From learning what the school they're teaching at was like 100 years ago, to pioneer days, and the wild west, there's so much here they can use."

The Case Library is housed on the second floor of the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center on the BHSU campus. The collections are open for public use and research. Contact for more information.

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