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Department of English Language and Literature

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Paige Keuster Awarded One of Three Top Undergraduate Research Prizes

Paige Keuster, Top Prize, Garnet Track, "Scope Notes for the Lone Woman Digital Archives", Supporting faculty, Dr. Sara Schwebel, English

Paige Keuster, an English and anthropology double major graduating this month, is from Paxton, Illinois. She submitted work done for a Magellan Scholar project. She credits Reference Librarian Brent Appling with helping her find sources for her project and introducing her to the Interlibrary Loan Department, which gave her access to historical documents not in the libraries' collections.

"My task was to research the periodicals that had featured stories about the Lone Woman, a Nicoleño/Tongva woman who was isolated on the California Channel Islands from 1835-1853," Keuster wrote in her award application essay. "The major tool the librarian brought to my attention and demonstrated for me was the Interlibrary Loan program. Many of the periodicals I was researching were only in existence for a short period, a long time ago, and in very small towns. Often, the only information about these periodicals was in locally printed town or county histories that were not part of Thomas Cooper Library’s collection or accessible on the internet, but ILL always gave me access to these texts . . ."

"The most valuable skill I learned during this project was how to evaluate sources. In the past, topics I had researched were so broad that there were always reputable sources. However, research about nineteenth-century newspapers did not present this luxury, because many were so small they were not featured in nineteenth century histories of the press or any other standard reference books."

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