Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Uniting Graduate Students, Unique Collections, and Real Work Environments.

  • Alexis Braun Marks (Eastern Michigan University)
  • Brooke Boyst (Eastern Michigan University)
  • Rebecca Murphy (Eastern Michigan University)
  • Andrew Shneider (Eastern Michigan University)


Practical Application of archival and museum theory is important to both student development and training the next generation of archive and museum professionals. Faculty at both Queens College and Eastern Michigan University recognized this need and created courses to provide hands-on instructional opportunities to students in both library and museum-focused graduate programs.

Since 2015, Eastern Michigan University’s Historic Preservation graduate program and EMU’s Archives have collaborated every year to teach a Museum Exhibit course. This course gives graduate students in the museum studies track the opportunity to do archival research while learning museum best practices. The Winter 2022 class developed an exhibit exploring the foodways of Eastern Michigan University’s campus community. Students were assigned roles such as Lead Curator, Exhibit Designer, Oral Historian, Label Writer, Graphic Designer, Prop Specialists, 3-D and 2-D Artifact Registrars, and Marketing/Outreach Coordinator. The completed exhibit, “Hamburgers for Breakfast,” used archival and artifact loans from the campus community to illustrate EMU’s changing food culture through time. 

This session will present ways in which archive and museum programs can provide graduate students with the ability to translate classroom knowledge into practical application. Both groups will  reflect on the goals of the courses and the outcomes, benefits, and successes for all involved–the repositories, the students, and the institutions as a whole.

**NOTE** The presenters at Queens College have opted not to submit their slides due to donor concerns.

Keywords: graduate students, museum studies, university archives, teaching with primary sources, oral history, exhibit design

How to Cite:

Braun Marks, A., Boyst, B., Murphy, R. & Shneider, A., (2023) “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Uniting Graduate Students, Unique Collections, and Real Work Environments.”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2023(1).



Published on
14 Apr 2023