HUM20040 Primary Source Research in the Humanities A: Exploring UCD Cultural Heritage Collections

Academic Year 2020/2021

The module gives students - as individuals and in groups - the opportunity to work with materials in the UCD Cultural Heritage Collections, particularly the UCD Digital Library and UCD Special Collections. Building on basic research skills embedded at Stage One, the module provides structured support to help students develop more advanced skills in primary source research in the Humanities. The module will therefore provide essential scaffolding for the major research project to be undertaken by BA Humanities students in Year 4. The module will alert students to the research opportunities within UCD Cultural Heritage Collections, develop key skills and competencies to fully utilize these resources, and facilitate the students in the development of bold and original dissertation topics using primary sources in later stages of their programme.

***Please note that due to Covid-19, the module will be offered fully online this semester. We do hope to facilitate in-person visits to UCD Special Collections for those of you who can attend campus and offer virtual visits for those who cannot.***

***Lecture materials will be offered asynchronously, which means that you can engage with it at a time that suits you. Tutorials will be offered synchronously, which means that you must attend the virtual classroom at the specified day/time. Attendance at the online tutorials is essential for your success in the module.***

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
1. Knowledge of the UCD Cultural Heritage Collections and the different repositories, collections, and materials preserved there.
2. Primary source literacy, including the ability to name, define, and provide examples of the different kinds of primary sources, and the critical skills of identifying and applying key questions to the interpretation of primary sources.
3. Developing research skills, including the ability to identify, locate and utilize appropriate primary and secondary materials in the analysis of primary sources.
4. Analytical skills, including the abilities to assess the distinctive values and methodologies of different disciplines and critically analyse a range of primary sources within their social, cultural and historical contexts.
5. Group work skills, including working effectively as part of a team, making an equitable individual contribution to group activities and supporting others to do the same, and dealing with difficulties.

Indicative Module Content:

The module will cover topics including:

UCD Cultural Heritage Collections
Describing Primary Sources
Interpreting Primary Sources
Collections and Repositories
Research Skills

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Due to COVID-19. this module will be delivered fully online. The lecture material will be offered asynchronously, which means you can engage with it at a time that suits you. Tutorials will be offered synchronously via the virtual classroom, which means that you must attend at a set day/time each week. Attendance at the tutorials is essential for success in the module. Students will work together in small groups within the tutorials. The module is designed to give students an active and authentic learning experience. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
HUM20050 - Primary Source Research B

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Weekly record of individual learning Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Group Project: Glossary of key terms for primary source literacy Week 4 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Critical description of an item in one of the collections in UCD Digital Library Week 6 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Exhibition on a periodical from UCD Digital Library Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Group Project: Weekly record of group meetings Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback will be provided by the teaching team on group and individual assignments. There will be opportunities for informal peer, self and other feedback throughout the semester.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Lucy Collins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Evelyn Flanagan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jaime Jones Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Laura Loftus Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Leanne Waters Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 14:00 - 14:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 12:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 3 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 14:00 - 14:50
Lecture Offering 4 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 13:00 - 13:50