Research & Instructional Services

Professor Lindsay O'Neill with one of her classes in Special Collections    

Research Consultation

Special Collections offers reference services on-site Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm during Fall and Spring Semesters.

The reference staff at Special Collections is committed to helping you navigate the enormous range of resources available to you and assuring that you are comfortable using them. The best way to understand the collections and how they may assist you in your research or teaching is to stop by and talk to a member of our reference staff. They can help you develop strategies for effectively searching the Library Catalog and help you probe the archival and manuscript collections. You may also send your queries to

Class Visits

Our collections exist to be used and are open to everyone.

When given the opportunity to work directly with primary source materials, historic documents and photographs, or rare books, students discover an excitement and engagement not generated by textbooks. In addition, working with primary source materials teaches students to learn to verify sources, tracking down connections, and finding evidence from content and from physical clues. 

We welcome opportunities to teach and co-teach classes on primary-source and original research as well as to suggest and arrange an array of relevant materials for your students to work with.  We are also happy to work with you on class projects incorporating original research with our primary sources. In addition, the resources of the department are available to aid faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students in their teaching and research, either in the classroom or in the library, by special arrangement.

To schedule an introductory class to Special Collections, to discuss possibilities for class visits and research projects, or to arrange to use Special Collections materials in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library (Room 206) for a course, please send an email to

Special Collections can accommodate classes up to 40 students in its main room, and also has a seminar room for smaller groups. The main room is equipped with a retractable movie screen which may be used for presentations. All our rooms in Doheny Memorial Library are equipped with WiFi.

As there is a great demand to the use the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library (Room 206), professors are encouraged to contact us as far in advance as possible in order to ensure that their schedule can be accommodated.

Research Guide "Reading Early Printed Books"