September 1, 2020

Wayne State University College of Education and Walter P. Reuther Library awarded grant to improve classroom access to primary sources

DETROIT, Mich. — The Wayne State University College of Education and Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, were recently awarded a $83,100 grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Funds will support “Bridging the Gap: Archives in the Classroom and Community,” a two-year project aimed at improving access to meaningful primary sources in the classroom for teachers and students. 

Though most K-12 education standards call for the use of primary sources, archivists and teachers rarely have a chance to understand one another’s practices or collaborate to bring relevant archival material into the classroom. “Bridging the Gap: Archives in the Community and the Classroom” creates a community composed of archivists, classroom teachers and teacher education students to share different areas of expertise. The team hopes such a model can be used to aid other archivists and educators in working together across the country.

“This initiative poses an opportunity to bring knowledge and collective memories from communities into the daily work of classroom instruction,” said Min Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor of social studies education and principal investigator. “We hope it will present teachers with opportunities to recognize existing community assets in addition to incorporating nuanced understandings of the challenges different communities have faced historically.”

Over the next two years, teacher education students, in-service teachers and archivists will participate in a series of workshops and form remote teams to create relevant archives-focused lesson plans for use in classrooms.

Additional project members include Christopher Crowley, Ph.D., assistant professor of Teacher Education; Meghan Courtney, outreach archivist for the Reuther Library; and Dan Golodner, archivist for the American Federation of Teachers.

About the College of Education

Since its beginnings as a teacher's college in 1881, the College of Education has grown to offer award-winning, nationally recognized degree programs in 37 areas, including counseling, educational leadership and policy studies, educational psychology, exercise and sport science, learning design and technology, and sports administration. Through its theme, "The Effective Urban Educator: Reflective, Innovative and Committed to Diversity," the college reaffirms its mission and commitment to excellence, inclusion and social justice. For more information, visit

About the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs

The Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, a part of the Wayne State University Library System, is the largest labor archives in North America and is home to the collections of numerous unions and labor-related organizations. Its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women's struggles in the workplace. The Reuther Library is also the home of the Wayne State University Archives. To learn more, go to

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 27,000 students. For more information, visit


Tracy Boyce
Phone: 313-577-0260
Jill Wurm
Phone: (313) 577-4149

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox 3 times a week