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Teaching with the Collections

EGL 333 Spring 2019
Students in EGL/HUI 333 study the papers of Pietro di Donato, 2019.

Instructors are encouraged to integrate special collections in assignments. Below are a few ways the University Libraries foster student learning and engagement with primary sources.

Online Tutorial
The online tutorial Using Primary Sources in Research introduces students to concepts and provides them with strategies for the effective and ethical use of primary sources in research and creative assignments. Each lesson includes a quiz, so students can check their understanding and application of concepts. The lessons can be completed as one assignment or be broken into smaller assignments, depending on the amount of time available. Based on user self-reporting, the entire tutorial can be completed in approximately 90 minutes.

Create an Assignment
Assistance is available to develop assignments using primary sources located in Special Collections and University Archives. Assignments can be customized to support course objectives and outcomes. Please contact Kristen Nyitray, Director for more information.

Teach with the Collections
SBU instructors can teach with primary sources that are physically located in Special Collections and University. The first step is to contact Kristen Nyitray, Director to discuss the specific needs of your course. A formal request for teaching in Special Collections can then be placed using the University Libraries "Request a Class" form.

Request an Instruction Session
Instruction sessions on the nature of primary sources and using them in research projects can be scheduled. Sessions can focus on electronic collections (databases) and/or physical collections. Please contact Kristen Nyitray, Director to discuss your course needs. A formal request for an instruction session can then be placed using the University Libraries' "Request a Class" form.

Preparing for a Visit
In advance of a class visit, please announce, share, and discuss with students via Blackboard the access and collection handling guidelines for the session. 

The Day of a Class Visit
A faculty or staff member will welcome the group and provide an overview of the access policies. Please note:

  • To ensure the safeguarding of collections, food or drink is not permitted in the meeting space.
  • Pens can not be used during the session. We are glad to provide pencils, if needed.
  • Personal belongings must be stored around the perimeter of the Special Collections Seminar Room or Reading Room (depending on class size) or in a locker.
  • Instructors must remain with the class, as per University Libraries' guidelines.
  • Collections or items will be displayed on tables or in cases.