Examples of Special Collections Instruction Services

Tour (15-20 minutes)

Take a special tour of the Special Collections department or add the department tour to your library visit. On this tour students and community groups will become acquainted with the reading room and will get a broad overview of Special Collections and services. Visitors will also have an opportunity to view our current exhibits and talk with archivists.

Introduction to Special Collections

In this instruction session students will learn the basics of conducting archival research. Topics covered include what to expect when visiting an archive, using finding aids and citing archival sources. For a small class it may be possible for archivists to work one-on-one with students on their research topics.

Primary Source Instruction

This instruction session will help students understand the difference between primary and secondary sources. Students will have the opportunity to interact “hands on” with primary sources from our collections and discuss how to incorporate primary sources into their research.

Authors, Books and Book Art

Your class can explore the holding of the Special Collections department with an emphasis on a particular time period, an author, a book style or the use of the book form in artistic expression. Our strong collections of first editions, miniature and artist’s books make this a memorable experience for students.


Want to learn more about how to care for your own collections? This instruction session is an overview of preservation techniques for documents, photos, books, objects and textiles. We will use items from our collections to demonstrate preservation techniques and save plenty of time to answer your questions.