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RaD Instruction Sessions and Policies

For the Fall 2023 semester, the CU Boulder Libraries’ Rare and Distinctive Collections (RaD) will offer two types of instruction for classes: project-based learning sessions and orientations to searching for and working with RaD materials. Due to staffing and space constraints, we prioritize project-based requests that ask students to synthesize primary sources or other RaD materials for a defined, course-integrated outcome. 

Project-Based Sessions: We are advocates for student engagement and success, and support creative uses of our collections in project-based learning assignments accordingly. We are happy to meet and brainstorm ideas. Examples of projects may include: 

  • Exhibit curation

  • Digital humanities projects 

  • Community engagement

  • Transcription, translation, or annotation

  • Creative writing or art projects 

  • Group research projects or in-class presentation projects

  • Hands-on workshops, particularly those related to book binding, book structure, woodblock printing or letterpress printing

Short orientations (15-20 minutes) may be useful prior to the class meeting in the library to engage in project-based assignments. 

Orientations: Orientations introduce students to primary sources and research related to RaD materials. Orientations often take place either in the course’s regularly scheduled classroom or a library instruction room and last 15-20 minutes. The objective is to help students learn how to locate, request, access, and use primary sources. Staffing and space permitting, orientations can be paired with an active-learning activity (such as a worksheet) in the RaD classroom using rare and primary source materials related to the class. 

RaD Instruction Policies

  • We aim to accommodate all requests, within the limits of our scheduling and staffing capabilities. Priority is given to classes centered around well-defined projects that effectively integrate into course objectives. This ensures students are able to engage with rare materials or primary sources in meaningful ways.

  • The instructor of record must be present for class sessions in the RaD classroom.

  • Requests must be made at least 3 weeks in advance. 

  • If either the instructor of record for the course or the assigned RaD instructor is out due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, we will do our best to reschedule. 

  • When requesting a class session, please contact us at rad@colorado.edu to communicate learning objectives and send relevant documents (syllabi, project ideas, etc.). Rare and Distinctive Collections’ staff will schedule a meeting with you (in-person or virtual) to discuss learning outcomes, craft a list of relevant material, and schedule a class date.

  • Prior to the session, please spend time in class providing context to your students regarding session expectations, including: why the class is scheduled to meet in the RaD classroom, what the visit entails, a short overview of RaD policies, and a review of students’ learning goals and assignment.