The Special Collections Research Center offers a range of services for instructors interested in teaching with and about the books, manuscripts, and other material in our collections. Special Collections Research Center staff can provide help with identifying appropriate material and developing class assignments. We are also prepared to assist with or conduct any of a variety of instruction sessions ranging from a general introduction to the resources that are available in the Special Collections Research Center to an in-depth presentation on specific materials and their historical contexts.
Our teaching space can be reserved by University of Michigan instructors and others wishing to bring a group of 25 or fewer individuals to the Special Collections Research Center to consult collection material.
Please submit your request by completing the Instruction Session/Visit Request Form at least two weeks in advance of your planned visit.
We look forward to working with you!
Examples of previously hosted sessions:
AAPTIS 459 The Sultan and His Subjects: Society and Culture in the Ottoman Empire (offered by: Evyn Kropf)
Introduction to Ottoman manuscript culture including a viewing of a representative selection of codices and texts from the Islamic Manuscripts Collection followed by a hands-on exercise addressing material features.
GER 330, Topics in German Culture and the Arts (offered by: Phil Hallman)
Students in section 001 of the course, Media Matter: From Print to Screen, examined the letters sent to Orson Welles by listeners from across the U.S. following the broadcast of his infamous War of the World radio show. Inspection of the letters allows students to think about two key concepts within the class: how have critical responses to thinking about media evolved over the last century?; and how can we analyze the relationship between new technologies and the cultural contexts from which they arise?
HIST 496 History Colloquium: The American South (offered by: Juli McLoone)
Introduction to historical research with primary source materials, focusing on 19th century books, serials, and pamphlets relating to slavery in the United States. Included time for browsing selected material and a hands-on exercise “matching” example research topics to specific sources that could provide evidence.
HIST 202 Doing History (offered by: Julie Herrada)
History 202 is a required gateway course into the undergraduate history major and is designed to prepare students for work in more advanced history courses. Module designed by professor and curator in 2012. Students examine original letters from the the E.F. Doree and Francis Steiner Papers (World War I era radicals--they will have already had some instruction on this topic in earlier class meetings with instructor), followed by a hands-on written exercise and discussion.
HIST 209: Premodern Europe (offered by: Pablo Alvarez)
Students have the opportunity to examine a wide selection of manuscript and printed material as witnesses of a long intellectual process culminating in the religious reformation of the sixteenth century. The material on display includes medieval and early-printed bibles, pamphlets and broadsides. Students are expected to answer a series of questions with reference to the artifacts on display.
HONORS 135 Reading Outside the Lines: Texts on the Edge (offered by: Kate Hutchens)
Exploration of “the archive” as it does and does not represent marginalized groups. Used examination of 8 items related to African American and Roma/Gypsy cultures as fodder for discussion of material culture and historiography.
SAC 330 Major Directors (offered by: Phil Hallman)
Students in this course intensely study one of the film directors associated with the UM Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers collection with an intended goal of co-curating an exhibition for public display within the research center. With the assistance and tutelage of the collection's curator, students handle and peruse hundreds of documents to carefully select those that can craft and narrate specific themes and ideas associated with the director's career and body of work.