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Collecting First-Generation Voices in Academic Libraries and Archives

Abstract: First-generation college students have a profound impact both inside and outside the classroom on the strategic goals of universities, yet in-depth, firsthand information about their experiences are difficult for researchers and university administrators to find. Oral histories are a data-rich method of collecting narratives that legitimize the perspectives of underrepresented communities whose stories are often absent from the written record. This article provides a brief overview of first-generation populations, a review of literature relating to the increasing involvement of libraries and archives in capturing and preserving the stories of underdocumented communities in the twenty-first century, and shares three case studies of first-generation initiatives at public universities in California, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Keywords: college students / universities / Generation / Libraries and Archives / stories / Profound Impact / Firsthand Information / Collecting Narratives

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