Class visits should be scheduled reasonably well in advance, preferably when a syllabus is being developed (see below). Each class visit can be tailored to the needs of the class. The subject matter covered, and the books and items available to be seen and used, can be as broad or as specific as needed. Most class visits are taught by relevant special collections faculty or jointly with the course instructor.
We can provide, for example:
- A broad overview of our collections, or overviews of a specific subject area (e.g. American or British literature or the history of science)
- An introduction to the identification and use of rare books, manuscripts, and other primary source documents in the research process
- Supplementary topical instruction on areas of particular strength in our holdings, e.g. the history of children’s literature, the First World War, Milton, or the history of books and printing
- Advanced subject- or author-based course instruction using materials from the collections
- Support for class-based assignments, exams, or other creative uses of our collections in coursework (e.g. as study collections in the visual arts)
We also encourage collaborative instruction with reference librarians in Thomas Cooper Library to support university coursework.
Our meeting rooms can accommodate most classes presently taught at the university:
- Classes of less than 20 can explore the department and its materials in seminar format
- Classes of up to 35 can generally be accommodated lecture-style
- With more advanced notice, large lecture classes of up to 150 may be able to use our large meeting room for a class session
All classrooms have overhead LCD cameras and projectors for displaying and projecting images of special collections materials. The Hollings Library also has full wireless capability for using digital collections and full text databases jointly with special collections materials.
We are willing to place materials from our collections on reserve in our reading room for part of a semester to support class use and assignments.
Other group programs and events
When the teaching schedule allows, we can occasionally welcome local or community groups into our department for classes, guided exhibition tours, or topical presentations relating to our holdings.
Most of the department’s major exhibitions will have an accompanying audio guide. The audio guide can be checked out on a pre-loaded iPod at both the Hollings Library reference desk and the Thomas Cooper Library circulation desk, and can also be downloaded freely from our website. Course instructors may wish to assign students to download an audio guide and take an exhibition tour on their own for a course assignment or activity.