Teach with Special Collections & University Archives.


We collaborate with instructors to create collections-based learning experiences and to build primary source literacy skills.

Class Visits
Students come to the library for an active learning experience. Effective visits rely on small group analysis of just a few collection items, or on just a few primary source literacy learning objectives. Depending on goals, one or more visits may be appropriate.

In-Classroom Sessions
Staff explain the research process, demonstrate search tools, or discuss specific collections or research subjects in your classroom.

Reading Room Assignments
Work with us to welcome your students to the Special Collections & University Archives reading room on their own time. Collections can be kept “on hold” for a defined amount of time, or students can submit their own requests.

Research Consultations
Require students to meet individually or in small groups with a librarian or archivist to discuss research strategies in-depth at specified points in their research process.

Who We Serve

We welcome classes from UCR and beyond! We regularly provide instruction to students from other colleges / universities and from local K-12 schools. We can also provide hands-on learning experiences to groups of all ages through professional organizations, adult education courses, hobby/fan clubs, camps, community centers, and more.


  • Instruction Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks ahead of time.
  • Class visits occur in a separate classroom space, not in the Special Collections & University Archives reading room.
  • Confirmation of requested times depends on staff and space availability. Evening and weekend requests may be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.
  • Instruction in Special Collections & University Archives is a collaborative process. Every class visit will be co-led by an Special Collections & University Archives librarian/archivist and the course instructor.
  • Every instruction session received a standard 10 – 15 minute introduction that covers a department overview and proper care and handling. Everything students need to know for the class visit will be covered during this time by the Special Collections & University Archives staff member.
  • Handouts created for instruction sessions by a Special Collections & University Archives librarian/archivist will be collected and reviewed by staff and then shared with the course instructor.

Class Visit Planning Process

  • Requests are received
  • Date/time is confirmed by the relevant Special Collections & University Archives staff member
  • Speak with an Special Collections & University Archives librarian/archivist to discuss goals and select relevant learning objectives
  • Share all relevant course materials with staff, including syllabus, assignment, etc.
  • Identify collections using the Special Collections Request System
  • Set the agenda, including:
    • Time breakdowns
    • Who leads what
    • Final document selection
    • Stations/physical layout
    • Hands-on activities and/or prompts
    • Wrap up

What to Expect

While care and handling will be covered, instructors can help prepare for a visit to Special Collections & University Archives by encouraging students to:

  • Login to the Special Collections Request System and create an account (UCR: use NetID and password)
  • Bring a pencil and a camera (cellphones are OK)
  • Finish all food, drinks, and gum before class starts

Rev. November 2017