Wendy Robicheau - Archivist
I began my academic adventures studying history at Mount Allison University. It was there that I discovered an interest in Atlantic Canadian culture and heritage. I transferred to Saint Mary’s University, graduating with a B.A. in Atlantic Canada Studies, History, and Anthropology. Those courses introduced me to the world of archives. I found my calling. Needing to know more, I completed a Library Technician Diploma at the Nova Scotia Community College, specializing in archives. Before long, I was caring for the archives and special collections held at the Saint Mary’s Library. Seizing the opportunity of working at a University, I completed an M.A. in Atlantic Canada Studies. My thesis, which focused on archival practice in Nova Scotia, was written after I had become the archivist at the Beaton Institute at the University College of Cape Breton (now CBU). But my academic adventures have hardly ended.
While considering the direction of the Beaton Institute, I was forming ideas for embedding archives in the curriculum. When I came to Acadia University’s Archives in 2005, I was able to explore and practice my budding ideas. An archival information literacy program was born. It complimented the work being done by the Librarians at Acadia. Now, several courses in multiple disciplines include an assignment or an aspect of archival research, laced with student engagement. I am excited to teach an archives course. I am very interested in teaching methodology for research and public history.
My teaching interests have spawned my own research. I am a research practitioner who regularly partners with interested students and faculty. For example, while researching archival information literacy, I cooperated with Acadia’s School of Education. Not only did we build the program that is in place today, we presented at conferences on the topic. My current research project examines Acadia’s participation in the First World War. Since this research began, five students have partnered on the project and hundreds of students have volunteered to assist us. Many presentations have been made in classrooms and to the community. The result will be a massive, multi-faceted, public history endeavor.
TEACHING & PEDAGOGY
My approach to teaching is simply this: I am a guide—a resource. I assist students by providing the tools needed and advice wanted. The rest is up to the individual. Approach classes and assignments without judgment; by indulging curiosity; by questioning and examining everything; as a chance to experiment; to associate new knowledge between courses; and, to demonstrate creativity and critical thinking skills. Take this opportunity to shape a learning experience into something amazing.
In addition to teaching Unlocking the Archival Record, I work closely with students from any discipline who wish to complete a project based on primary sources, or History students who follow the archival thesis option. As a result, I have assisted with the following archival theses:
Calla Owens, Behind Closed Doors: The Expansion of Female and Male Sexuality During the Second World War in Canada, 2018. (with Dr. Stephen Henderson)
Sarah Atkinson, “You would hardly think it to look at them”: Visual Representations of Colonialism in Bessie Lockhart’s Scrapbooks, 2016. (with Dr. Gillian Poulter)
Ryan d’Eon, Morale of Canadian Censors During the Second World War, 2016. (with Dr. Paul Doerr)
Samuel Howes, Shining Stars: The Importance of the Starr Family of Kings County, Nova Scotia, 2012. (with Dr. Barry Moody)