Class Visits and Instruction

The Purdue University Archives and Special Collections welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with both graduate level and undergraduate courses. Instruction sessions are customized to the needs or learning outcomes of each class, and the archives staff can assist in creating assignments and activities relevant to each course. Due to the high volume of instruction requests received each semester, priority is given to courses that will incorporate archival research as a core learning objective.

Topics covered may include:
  • Introduction to archival resources generally
  • Introduction to specific collections
  • Analyzing archival documents, photographs, and artifacts
  • Citing archival collections in research papers and other publications
  • Searching for and requesting rare books and archival materials
  • Reading room etiquette, safe handling of collections, and visiting procedures
  • Ethical issues in collecting materials and making them available for research use
  • Preserving collections of archival papers and rare books
  • Introduction to archival practices and career preparation
  • And more!

Archivists are available for research consultations with students, faculty, and staff who are interested in incorporating archival sources into research, learning, or course assignments.

Where to Start

  • Browse Digital Collections - This curated list of digitized and born digital collection materials includes highlights from the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue Libraries Primary Source Databases, and repositories at other institutions. These materials may be used as the basis for class activities or assignments.
  • View Sample Activities, Assignments, and Teaching Guides - This page offers examples and instructions for integrating archival resources into classroom activities and projects.
  • Learn Policies and Procedures - This page explains everything you need to know about visiting Archives and Special Collections before your research visit.
  • Review our Library Guide - This guide provides an overview of the resources available at the Archives and Special Collections, defines some key archival terms and concepts, and contains information on citing primary source materials.

Best Practices for Instructional Collaboration

  • Requests should be initiated before the beginning of the semester, as early in the course development process as possible.
  • Visits to the Archives should be included in the course syllabus at the time of its distribution to students and a copy of the syllabus should be shared with the collaborating archivist.
  • Copies of any assignments or handouts related to archival research should be shared with the archivist.
  • If requesting multiple class visits or an archival research module, consider including the archivist as a co-instructor of record for the appropriate percentage of time.

Request an Instruction Consultation