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Class Visits to Special Collections @ Pitt

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I schedule classes outside of 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 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 Special Collection, but I would like my students to still see some of your materials. Any suggestions? Special Collection can display relevant materials for students to view throughout a decided upon time period. If required, we would also be happy to record student names in order to confirm their participation.
  5. How many students will the Special Collections reading room accomodate?  The reading room in the Special Collections Department can accommodate up to 40 students.  If you have a larger class, we can check the availability of the Amy E. Knapp Room located on the Ground Floor of Hillman Library. 
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. Will you close down the reading room specifically for my class?  No.  The reading room must stay open to accommodate researchers; however, we are happy to reserve a table or specific group of tables for your class to use.
  9. 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.