Teaching with Archives & Special Collections

About ASC’s Instruction Program:

The Archives and Special Collections (ASC) instructional program supports UConn’s teaching and learning mission through a commitment to integrating primary resources into curriculum across a variety of disciplines. Working with manuscript and primary sources promotes high levels of inquiry, helps students develop skills in critical thinking, analysis, and historical empathy, and provides important opportunities for original scholarship. Our instruction program has three primary goals:

  1. To support the educational mission of the University.
  2. To support Information and Primary Source Literacy skills through alignment with UConn curriculum.
  3. To support researchers by teaching them the skills to prepare and empower them to do their own independent research.

We welcome classes of all types across all disciplines from introductory classes to semester-long research projects. We seek opportunities to collaborate with faculty to design hands-on learning sessions which fit their curricular needs and utilize materials from the ASC collections.

Please note that we have a capacity limit of 20-25 student maximum per session in the ASC Reading Room. If your class exceeds that limit, ASC staff will do their best to work with you on alternative instructional activities/arrangements.

In addition to in-person instruction sessions, ASC staff provide many online instructional tools, including videos, asynchronous tutorial modules, and podcast episodes that may be useful for your teaching.

Planning your ASC instruction session:

  1. Submit instruction request at least 3 weeks before proposed session date(s)
  2. Meet with the Archivist at least two weeks before the session to discuss session goals, primary sources to be included, instructional activities, and session logistics
  3. Communicate with your students in advance of the session, share any pre-class materials for the session

Tips for a successful session:

    • Allow time for lesson planning-- Sessions based around an upcoming assignment or cumulative project are the most impactful, and collaboration and communication with the requesting faculty member is crucial. Please submit your instruction request no later than three weeks before the date you’d like the session to occur. Please note that requests after the three-week mark will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


    • Share your course and learning outcomes with us-- We ask that you share your syllabus and/or primary assignment with us (even if they are not finalized). This will allow the archivist to prepare a meaningful session that will assist your students in successfully fulfilling the requirements of their assignment or learning objectives. For more information on the primary source literacy learning objectives we use to plan ASC instruction, please see the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy


  • Help us get to know your students—You know your students best! Any information you can provide about the educational background of your students, such as majors or years, will give us a starting point for planning. We may ask you about the culture of your classroom, such as do you often have group activities? Discussions? Do any students in your class have any needs that require accommodation? All of these insights help us to effectively prepare active learning activities to facilitate student engagement.

Schedule your class and learn more about what we offer:
Schedule a Class