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Special Collections Instruction

This guide provides information on the instructional services provided by the University of Arkansas Special Collections.
Image of students looking at books
Students looking at architectural drawing

Special Collections Instruction

Special Collections believes that all of the the primary sources and other historical materials should be available to everyone and should serve to create greater understanding of historical issues and the human experience. Special Collections welcomes the opportunity to work with students at all levels, including undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Arkansas, K-12 students, and groups from the general public, and we endeavor to provide learning opportunities however possible, including synchronous and asynchronous virtual session, and in-person class meetings when possible. Instruction sessions with Special Collections include hands on work with archival objects and historical records, research with selected resources related to course topics or areas of interest, and guided learning on how to understand and utilize primary sources. Librarians and archivists in Special Collections provide support to instructors and classes from across the University to access and incorporate a variety of different materials, including university archives, corporate and organizational records, family and personal papers, rare books and literary manuscripts, and an expansive of published material about Arkansas.

Types of Instruction

  • Introduction/Orientation to the University of Arkansas Special Collections: Virtual or in-person visits with classes introducing concepts  such as discovery and access of rare and unique materials, use of materials with preservation in mind, areas of collection strengths and types of research possible in Special Collection, and showcasing of remarkable particularly interesting given a class's focus.
  • Topic/Course Specific: Guided use of selected items in fulfillment of specific assignments aligned with course learning objectives, including explanation of relevant resources, learning exercises to facilitate comprehension, and introduction of primary source literary concepts to aid in contextual understanding.
  • Consultations: Scheduled one-on-one work with small groups or individuals to assist with narrowing of topics and honing of research questions, analysis and citation of resources, and procedures with reproduction and digitization when appropriate.
  • Special Collections Tours: Archivist or librarian led overviews of the work and collection highlights, tours can be tailored to follow-up instruction session or future collaboration or intended to spark student interest and awareness of the unique holdings of the University Libraries.  

Request Instruction

Interested in learning more? Have an idea for a possible instruction session you’d like to partner with us on? Want to schedule an instruction session? Please complete the form below, which will ask you some basic information about your class so that we can ensure your Special Collections session meets the overall goals of the course. We require at least 1 week of advance notice to schedule instruction sessions.