Special Collections welcomes opportunities to collaborate with instructors from UC Davis and outside of campus. We focus on providing hands-on learning experiences and developing skills in using primary sources, also known as primary source literacy.


  • To help us prepare for class visits, we require at least two weeks of advance notice
  • A consultation with the Instruction & Outreach Librarian will be scheduled in order to discuss the class visit and determine the best materials to use
  • Instruction takes place in a classroom that accommodates no more than 24 seated people. If your class has more than 24 students, please plan for more than one class visit
  • Confirmation of requested times depends on the librarian’s and space availability. Class visits must be during our normal opening hours on Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Instruction in Special Collections is a collaborative process. The Instruction & Outreach Librarian and the course instructor (professor, TA, etc.) must both be present during every class visit. We are happy to accommodate those with special needs and must be alerted to those needs at least 7 business days in advance of the class
  • Different types of class visits can take place in Special Collections, such as orientations, workshops, in-classroom demonstrations, assignment support, small group activities, as well as lectures led by course instructors. In each case, every class will receive a standard 10–15 minute introduction that covers a department overview and proper care and handling of materials

Class Visit Planning Process

  • Requests are received
  • Date and time of the instruction session is confirmed by the Instruction & Outreach Librarian
  • Meet with the Instruction & Outreach Librarian to discuss the class visit
  • Share all relevant course materials with the Instruction & Outreach Librarian including syllabus, assignment, etc.
  • Identify collections using the Special Collections Request System (Aeon)

What to Expect

  • Upon arriving to Special Collections, students will sign in with their names
  • Everyone must store their bags and coats either in the lockers provided or in a section of the reading room
  • While the proper care and handling of materials will be covered, instructors can help prepare for a visit to Special Collections by encouraging students to:
    • Wash their hands before class begins
    • Bring a pencil
    • Be aware that all food and drinks (including water bottles) are prohibited in the Special Collections classroom

Request a Session

If possible, be sure to have a copy of your course syllabus ready to upload on the form.

Instruction Request Form

Tours of Special Collections can be arranged for small groups during our normal operating hours. We require at least a week’s advance notice for tours.

To schedule a tour:

Please contact us at SpecColl@ucdavis.edu