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Course & Subject Guides

Class Visits to Archives & Special Collections

This guide will provide information to Instructors about what is possible in teaching with Archives & Special Collections and scheduling class visits to the department.

Instruction Sessions in the Archives & Special Collections

Archives & Special Collections invites faculty to integrate rare printed resources and archival materials in their coursework through class visitations, tours, and programs to enhance teaching and learning. We welcome opportunities to support your instruction efforts by offering the following services:

  • Schedule a class visit to one of the A&SC locations

  • Incorporate rare books and manuscripts into your curriculum

  • Provide instruction about how to locate, interpret, and use primary source materials in all formats

  • Assist in creating class exercises to analyze and discern meaning from rare materials

  • Tailor instruction sessions and class assignments to complement the course

  • Show examples of specific types of binding, printing, formats, illustration techniques, etc.

  • Offer an orientation in preparation for a class assignment

  • Identify and locate resources to support your lecture or class session

  • Suggest collections appropriate for student research

  • Photocopy or digitize documents to be used as exemplars

  • Create a LibGuide to incorporate resources specific to your course

Welcome to the Archives & Special Collections Department!

Archives & Special Collections invites instructors to integrate rare printed resources and archival materials in their coursework through in-person or virtual class visitations, tours, and programs to enhance teaching and learning. We welcome opportunities to support your classroom learning by offering the following:

  • Schedule an in-person or virtual class visit

  • Incorporate rare books and manuscripts into your curricula

  • Provide assistance in showing students how to locate, interpret, and use primary source materials in all formats

  • Assist in creating class exercises to analyze and discern meaning from rare materials

  • Show examples of specific types of binding, printing, formats, illustration techniques, etc.

  • Identify and locate resources to support your lecture or class session

  • Suggest collections appropriate for student research

  • Photocopy or digitize documents to be used as exemplars

  • Create a LibGuide to incorporate resources specific to your course  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I schedule classes outside of Archives & Special Collections' regular business hours?  Yes.  We are happy to facilitate daytime or evening classes.  We just need some advance notice to ensure that we have staff coverage for your class time.
  2. May I borrow books from Archives & Special Collections and take them to my classroom or seminar room?  Unfortunately, no.  Due to the rarity, fragility, and security of our materials, they must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room or the other staff-monitored reading rooms at the Archives Service Center, Fine Arts Library, or Center for American Music.
  3. Will you come to my classroom and offer a presentation?  Yes, we are happy to participate in your class sessions; however, we can only provide digital copies and cannot bring original materials to your classroom. 
  4. I unfortunately don't have the time this semester to commit a class period to coming to Archives & Special Collections, but I would like my students to still see some of your materials. Any suggestions? Archives & Special Collections can display relevant materials for students to view throughout a decided upon time period in our reading room or one of our instruction spaces. If required, we would also be happy to record student names in order to confirm their participation.
  5. My class is 90 minutes long, but I foresee us using your materials for only an hour--may I lecture in the reading room until the end of the class period? Yes, you may!
  6. After the class takes place, can you hold materials for students to use for research? Yes, we are happy to designate a book cart for the class until notified otherwise.
  7. Do you have evening hours?  Unfortunately, no.  However, we will make special arrangements to stay open late to accommodate class assignments and work.  Any request for additional evening hours must be made in advance to ensure that we have proper staff coverage.  

Our Collections

Several University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) departments and libraries hold unique and rare materials and welcome the opportunity to collaborate and share resources and expertise in new and compelling ways. By uniting rare materials and specialized collections together, the ULS will be better able to provide instructors with unique opportunities for teaching, learning, and engaging students.