Instruction and Outreach
One of our highest priorities is to support research and teaching at the University of Oregon. In addition, our collections exist to be used. We are available to assist with and coordinate instruction in courses where students are encouraged to use primary sources such as manuscripts, archives, photographs, rare books, films, and ephemera. Our collections are full of these types of materials and present endless opportunities for discovery and original research.
We have a dedicated instruction classroom, the Ken Kesey Classroom, with state-of-the-art technology where our staff can present to your class on how to perform research using primary sources. In consultation with the professor, we can assemble and present collections on specific subject areas for such presentations.
Example: The image at right shows the first page of a letter written by Gertrude Bass Warner in 1924. Founder of the UO art museum, Mrs. Warner traveled widely in Asia and actively promoted multiculturalism, helping to establish the Asian Studies program here at the University of Oregon. Written in 1924, this letter narrates her adventures in Peking, when the city was caught between two Chinese armies. From this letter, we were able to identify half a dozen unlabeled lantern slides in the Warner collection, which turned out to be photographs she had taken as her refugee train crawled through the trenches to safety.
If you would like to schedule a Special Collections and University Archives instruction session or would like to consult with us in designing a research assignment or special project, please contact us by submitting a request via our Instruction Request Form (requests must be made at least three weeks in advance before the requested date of instruction). The form requires your contact information, the proposed date and time of your class, the number of attendees, the subject of this visit, and general background about your class, statement of what you hope the students will gain from the session, and a copy of the class syllabus. Please also include if you would like us to identify an exercise for your students during the session or thoughout the term. For specific questions, contact Jennifer O'Neal, University Historian and Archivist, who coordinates our instruction program.
Please also note that if you would like to have your class use our materials for a project, we highly advise bringinig the class for an orientation session or having a staff memeber come to your class to orient your students to our collections and policies and procedures. Given current staffing levels, advance notice of class use of SCUA materials is appreciated and alloows our staff to prive the most comprehensive service to your students.
We take great pride in encouraging use of our collections. However, we have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our collections. We will provide a general orientation, but you should also prepare your students in advance with the following information:
- Turn off your cell phone.
- For the most part, our materials are irreplaceable.
- No pens, food, drink, or chewing gum are allowed in the Paulson Reading Room.
- Backpacks, briefcases, and computer cases/covers are not allowed in the Paulson Reading Room. We have lockers where researchers may secure personal items. Laptops are allowed in the Paulson Reading Room
- All materials must be used in the Paulson Reading Room.
- Registration is required to use materials.
- Respect the fragile nature of our materials and handle them with care.
- Some materials such as photographs or codices require special handling.
- Remove one folder from a container at a time.
- When using manuscript materials, please make sure the document goes back into the correct folder and that the folder goes back into the correct container.
- Respect other researchers by keeping noise to a minimum.
- To display, exhibit, publish, or download any of our materials, you must obtain our permission
Please help us prepare for student projects by reading the Class Assignments page and filling out the Assignment Plan (a PDF) for us. This provides us with a copy of the assignment, the date due, your contact information, and a list of the materials or types of materials that your students will use. We will maintain copies in our own files for our staff to consult, which will ensure that we provide the best service possible to your students.
For projects that involve multi-media (such as a documentary class) will need to complete a contract (a PDF) for our files. We can duplicate our materials in many formats, provided the materials are not too fragile or under copyright restriction. Students will have to pay for duplication services. Students should select the items to be copied carefully, and give us enough time to avoid rush fees.
Your students' work is of value to us, and to other researchers. If you receive papers that are well researched and written, please consider advocating that your student submit the paper or project to the Libraries' Scholar's Bank.