Special Collections Class Visits and Instruction

Special Collections works with JMU faculty and staff to teach students how to find and use primary sources in our collections. We also offer hands-on opportunities for students to explore our rare books, manuscripts, and archives. During the Carrier Library Renovation and Expansion project, Special Collections is temporarily located in Burruss Hall. Due to interim spaces and workflows, our ability to provide instruction is limited. Information on requesting instruction is at the bottom of this page.

Available Instruction

During the Carrier renovation and expansion, Special Collections may provide the following types of instruction:

  • We can visit your in-person or virtual classroom to talk to your students about topics such as doing primary source research, using JMU Special Collections, and more. While we can’t bring Special Collections materials to your class, we can share knowledge that encourages students to visit and use Special Collections.
  • We can digitize selected Special Collections materials. In addition to providing you with the digital files to distribute to your class, we can provide accompanying instruction to facilitate use of these digitized materials. This instruction can be in your in-person or virtual classroom.
  • We can host, by appointment, up to three students at a time in the temporary Special Collections Reading Room. In these research appointments, we can provide students with Special Collections materials that you have selected. One of us will be present to facilitate access to the materials, but we will not provide content-based instruction during the appointment.

Special Collections reviews instruction requests on a case-by-case basis. We seek creative solutions to instruction needs but may not be able to accommodate all requests. During the Carrier renovation and expansion, Special Collections cannot bring physical materials into a classroom space for hands-on instruction with whole classes.

Requesting Instruction

To submit an instruction request, complete the Special Collections Instruction Request Form. Requests must be submitted at least four weeks in advance of the date when instruction is needed. Requests for digitization of Special Collections material for classroom use may require additional lead time. 

Please contact library-special@jmu.edu with questions.