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The Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives can be described as a “laboratory” for research and hands-on exploration of primary and secondary source materials. From the humanities to the sciences, instructional sessions can serve as an opportunity for students to gain important skills to be more effective researchers and critical thinkers. The most successful sessions in Special Collections engage students by situating primary sources within class topics and discussions.

Due to COVID-19, until further notice, all instruction sessions will be performed virtually or in a hybrid mode. Unique in-person requests may be allowed with small class sizes, under the discretion of the librarian. To schedule a virtual class, fill out our Instruction Session form at least 1-2 weeks in advance. A staff member will reply to your request promptly. For questions, email


Example Lessons & Support
The lessons and support services below exemplify how Special Collections resources can be used in the classroom. Lessons can be tailored to specific needs and class goals.  

  • Introduction to Primary Source Research: Engage your students with primary sources through active learning sessions with our unique materials. Students will also learn how to conduct research in our department, as well as how to handle and analyze archival and rare objects.
  •  Faculty-led Instruction: After a brief introduction to our policies and guidelines by the librarian, faculty may lead a class session with our holdings.
  • Course-specific Research: Our collections are also available for more advanced research projects, labs, and assignments. Special Collections staff is available for exploring projects and assignments that utilize collection materials. Previous classes have produced exhibits, group presentations, online exhibits, research papers, and independent study projects.
  • Research Consultations: In collaboration with librarian liaisons, Special Collections staff can assist with embedding primary source materials within research projects and assignments. To consult a librarian, contact us in advance.