Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

Pacific Northwest Collection: Teaching

Archival collections and library materials relating to the history, culture, and people of the Pacific Northwest.

Request a Session

To request a class, please contact the Pacific Northwest Curator at least 2 weeks in advance. Please include:

  • Course Number
  • Course Title
  • Instructor's Name
  • Number of Students
  • Description of assignment which involves students using Special Collections
  • Length of session requested, typically 50 minutes but often longer
  • Possible dates/times

Types of Teaching

Orientation Sessions

Orientations provide students with an overview of Special Collections including the types of collections, a description of primary sources, critical analysis, how to handle materials in Special Collections, and how to identify and request items of interest.

The orientation can optionally include a tour of the Reading Room (10 minutes). Please just let me know.

Session lasts 50 minutes.

Orientations are taught here in Special Collections, in the classroom, or off-site.

Teaching Sessions

Teaching sessions are geared toward specific topics. These topics range from the history of Tacoma to intersections of race, gender, and culture. You name the topic and I'll locate and show select primary resources relating to it from the wealth of our resources on the history, culture, and people of the Pacific Northwest.

Teaching sessions can include:

- Overview of the collections
- Primary vs. secondary sources
- Critical thinking skills (evaluating the who, what, where, when, why)
- Developing a research plan
- Operating in Special Collections (check in, ordering copies, etc.)
- Handling special collections materials
- Finding what you want

- An exercise in using a finding aid (add 10-15 mintues)
- Tour of Special Collections Reading Room (add 10 minutes)

During teaching sessions I focus on the materials and on the students: what is revealing about that type of resource (whether it be a city directory or 15 minute map),  the content of the material, how it relates to students' interests, and I respond to their comments and questions.

The approach to these sessions is different for each professor. Sometimes I walk the students through a group of materials and finish with the more general orientation. Other times I begin with a general orientation and then have students work in groups of 2 through particular collections (this makes a great in-class assignment).

I am happy to help develop in-class assignments relating to Special Collections and to craft research paper topics relating to the Collections.

Curator of the Pacific Nothwest Collection

Profile Photo
Anne Jenner
Special Collections
Allen Library South, Lower level
(206) 685-2856