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Special Collections Resources for Graduate Students

This guide provides information for graduate students interested in doing research in archives/special collections. It includes information about research and presentation opportunities for grad student at the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Coll

Special Collections Graduate Student Speaker Series

In collaboration with the Graduate School and International Education, the University Libraries hosts a Graduate Student Speaker Series during the academic year. This series provides graduate students the opportunity to present research or creative works they have done using materials from Special Collections, and get feedback from our community as they continue their professional development. If you've done research in Special Collections, are currently engaged in Special Collections research, or are looking to get started, please let us know!All graduate students are welcome to apply, and we encourage applications from across disciplines. All accepted speakers receive a $200 honorarium for presenting as a part of this series.

Please contact Kara Flynn, Research & Educational Services Archivist at with questions or for more information.

Special Collections workshops for graduate students

Beginning in the fall of 2022, Special Collections will be offering a series of in-person workshops for graduate students. These hour-long sessions will cover a variety of topics related to researching and teaching with primary sources. All workshops are free and we encourage students from a variety of disciplines to participate! Attendees can register for a single workshop session or multiple workshops, and after successful completion of each workshop, participants will receive certificates of completion.

Use the tabs below to learn more about each session and register to attend!

Intro to Research in Archives  

Learn tips and tricks for navigating visits to archives, and craft a schedule to strategize and carry out your research from start to finish. This session will provide an overview of tools used in archival research, strategies for searching for primary sources, and will include discussions of how best to plan visits to archives. 

Finding Primary Sources Online  

Learn how to use a variety of online tools and databases to find primary sources pertinent to your research. This session will discuss how to search for primary sources online, as well as how to think critically about the differences between digitized items and original primary sources.The session will include walkthroughs of the following resources: Library of Congress, NARA, DPLA, World Digital Library, Hathi Trust, and ArchiveGrid.

Understanding Archival Description 

Understand how (and why) archives access tools are created, how they can impact your research, and how to read archival descriptions in various formats.Topics covered will include finding aids, digital records, and controlled vocabularies.

Analyzing rare books 

In this session, you’ll learn about the materiality of text transmission—dissect the “book” as a highly evolved specimen—by working with rare books from the University of Arkansas’ Special Collections. Broad disciplines and areas of study touched upon: history, humanities, science, economics, political science, gender studies, and indigenous studies