An Update on the Spring 2021 Semester

Although our physical instruction spaces will be closed this spring, we remain committed to collaborating with instructors from the university and community to incorporate rare materials and object-based learning techniques into their courses. For the Spring 2021 semester, Special Collections and Archives is offering the following virtual instruction options, although we are always happy to work with instructors with ideas for other types of projects! Please send any inquiries or requests to

Asynchronous Library Guides and Videos

Note, these can also have a synchronous 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
    • We do not yet know what our fall entry to the library will be like, so cannot offer virtual tours of our spaces/showing of objects (this MAY become a possibility at some point)
  • Synchronous Zoom sessions that introduce students to researching, finding research materials, paleography, object-based learning, or another topic

Project-Based Learning

Note that these projects will usually have synchronous components for introductions and ongoing support

  • 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

Physical Class and Group Visits

Please note that we will not be able to offer physical library sessions this spring.

We are 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. 

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

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 Special 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.