Rare and Distinctive Collections is dedicated to collaborating with instructors from the university and community to incorporate rare materials into their courses. These classes are designed to provide context and increase engagement using primary and historical materials.  Please send inquiries or requests to rad@colorado.edu.

On this page:

In-person offerings

Instruction Sessions, Group Visits and Tours

Sessions typically occur in our instruction classroom as an active learning experience. Effective visits rely on small group analysis of a curated selection of items. We strongly encourage instructors to create worksheets, projects, or discussions centered on the materials, and will work with them to ensure an effective session.

We also facilitate tours and curated displays for any interested groups.

Requesting and Planning a Visit

Please send all instruction and tour requests to rad@colorado.edu.

We attempt to accommodate all requests, but our schedule tends to fill up quickly. Please contact us as soon as possible (often months in advance) to ensure your desired time and visit. Sessions outside our typical open hours are often possible, if scheduling well in advance. After a time has been determined, please communicate all learning objectives and send relevant documents (syllabi, project assignments, etc.) to the Rare and Distinctive Collections' instructors. Plan to work with our staff to craft a list of relevant material.

Note that it is our policy that the instructor of record must be present for class sessions.

Project-Based Learning

We strongly encourage the creative uses of our collections into project-based learning assignments. We are happy to meet to brainstorm ideas. You can find a few examples below:

  • Facilitation and support of student-created websites or online databases of digitized materials from our collections, such as:
  • Creation of student-curated online exhibits using our collections:
  • Facilitating resources for group presentations on materials/topic, such as: 
    • Talking books project (video presentations about specific primary source items)
    • Environmental ethics group projects (video presentations around curated items on a topic, including scanning and selection from us)
  • Student contributions to the following CU Boulder Archives Projects:
    • Documenting Community, 2020, our archival collection of COVID-19’s effect on students
    • The CU Boulder Black Histories Project
    • The CU Boulder Racial Justice Documentation Project

Virtual offerings

Rare and Distinctive Collections will continue to support synchronous and asynchronous virtual instruction. See some examples of how this might work below:

Asynchronous Library Guides and Videos

Note, these can also have a synchronous or in-person component to explain resources/facilitate discovery of our collections.

Synchronous Virtual Instruction

  • “Guest lecture” format over Zoom with PowerPoint and/or manipulation of digital sources
  • Synchronous Zoom sessions that introduce students to researching, finding research materials, paleography, object-based learning, or another topic
  • Facilitating projects based around rare materials (see project-based learning above)