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Jumpstart Your Teaching and Research in 
Special Collections 
401 ELLIS LIBRARY 
SPECIALCOLLECTIONS@MISSOURI .EDU 
HT TP: / / L IBRARY.MI SSOURI .EDU/SPECIALCOL LECTIONS/
Why use Special Collections in your 
teaching and research? 
“Undergraduates need to become an active part of the 
audience for research. In a setting in which inquiry is 
prized, every course in an undergraduate curriculum 
should provide an opportunity for a student to succeed 
through discovery-based methods. … In the humanities, 
undergraduates should have the opportunity to work in 
primary materials, perhaps linked to their professors’ 
research projects.” 
The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. 2008. 
Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities, 17.
Why use Special Collections in your 
teaching and research? 
Learning requires trust in the process of discovery. 
University of Missouri, Core Values Statement, http://www.missouri.edu/about/values.php 
cc RDECOM via Flickr
We can make it easy for you. 
Strong and diverse collections 
Experienced and knowledgeable staff 
A wide range of instruction services 
Support for your curriculum and objectives
Collection 
Strengths
Collection Statistics 
Over 90,000 titles, around 1,000 original works of art, 200+ linear feet 
of processed archival materials, 8 million microforms 
Most materials are for in-house use only, but some can be checked out. 
Collections are open to all users – the only qualification is a photo ID.
How to find stuff: MERLIN
How to find stuff: 
the Special Collections Web site
Okay, I can find it. 
Now what?
Start with your goals. 
What are your learning objectives? 
What do you want your students to get out 
of this session? 
How will this session fit with the rest of your 
course?
Contact us. 
SpecialCollections@missouri.edu 
(573) 882-0076 
Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. 
No appointment needed for research! 
Submit an instruction request form to 
schedule a class.
Give them an assignment. 
Creative works 
◦ Creative nonfiction 
◦ Class exhibit 
◦ Artists’ books / comic books 
Short Writing Assignments 
◦ Meet the Class of 1915 
◦ The Changing City 
◦ Nineteenth-Century Cookbook Analysis 
Reflection/Observation Activities 
◦ Artists’ Books 
◦ Medieval Manuscripts 
Information Literacy Worksheet
More Ideas!
History, and much more… 
Theatre Scholarship 
Italian Civilization 
Letterpress and the Book Arts 
Medieval and Early Modern 
Convents 
Anatomy, Zoology and Physiology 
Information and Student Success 
History of Typography 
Introduction to Visual Culture 
History of Western Dress 
History of Modern Engineering 
Beginning Latin 
Color Theory 
Biological Sciences / Botany 
Philosophy 
Modern European History 
Introduction to German Literature 
American History since 1865 
Medieval French 
Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Jane Austen and Her 
Contemporaries
Find us online. 
@MUSpecColl
Thanks! Questions? 
Kelli Hansen 
Print Collections Librarian 
(573) 882-3755 
HansenKB@missouri.edu 
@BiblioKelli

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Resources for Instructors in Special Collections

  • 1. Jumpstart Your Teaching and Research in Special Collections 401 ELLIS LIBRARY SPECIALCOLLECTIONS@MISSOURI .EDU HT TP: / / L IBRARY.MI SSOURI .EDU/SPECIALCOL LECTIONS/
  • 2. Why use Special Collections in your teaching and research? “Undergraduates need to become an active part of the audience for research. In a setting in which inquiry is prized, every course in an undergraduate curriculum should provide an opportunity for a student to succeed through discovery-based methods. … In the humanities, undergraduates should have the opportunity to work in primary materials, perhaps linked to their professors’ research projects.” The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. 2008. Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities, 17.
  • 3. Why use Special Collections in your teaching and research? Learning requires trust in the process of discovery. University of Missouri, Core Values Statement, http://www.missouri.edu/about/values.php cc RDECOM via Flickr
  • 4. We can make it easy for you. Strong and diverse collections Experienced and knowledgeable staff A wide range of instruction services Support for your curriculum and objectives
  • 6. Collection Statistics Over 90,000 titles, around 1,000 original works of art, 200+ linear feet of processed archival materials, 8 million microforms Most materials are for in-house use only, but some can be checked out. Collections are open to all users – the only qualification is a photo ID.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. How to find stuff: MERLIN
  • 13. How to find stuff: the Special Collections Web site
  • 14. Okay, I can find it. Now what?
  • 15. Start with your goals. What are your learning objectives? What do you want your students to get out of this session? How will this session fit with the rest of your course?
  • 16. Contact us. SpecialCollections@missouri.edu (573) 882-0076 Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. No appointment needed for research! Submit an instruction request form to schedule a class.
  • 17.
  • 18. Give them an assignment. Creative works ◦ Creative nonfiction ◦ Class exhibit ◦ Artists’ books / comic books Short Writing Assignments ◦ Meet the Class of 1915 ◦ The Changing City ◦ Nineteenth-Century Cookbook Analysis Reflection/Observation Activities ◦ Artists’ Books ◦ Medieval Manuscripts Information Literacy Worksheet
  • 20. History, and much more… Theatre Scholarship Italian Civilization Letterpress and the Book Arts Medieval and Early Modern Convents Anatomy, Zoology and Physiology Information and Student Success History of Typography Introduction to Visual Culture History of Western Dress History of Modern Engineering Beginning Latin Color Theory Biological Sciences / Botany Philosophy Modern European History Introduction to German Literature American History since 1865 Medieval French Electrical and Computer Engineering Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries
  • 21. Find us online. @MUSpecColl
  • 22. Thanks! Questions? Kelli Hansen Print Collections Librarian (573) 882-3755 HansenKB@missouri.edu @BiblioKelli

Editor's Notes

  1. Don’t lock your special collections away in neglected corners of the library — use them to teach students about the possibilities and principles of research. Such collections should be put to use as laboratories where students work hands-on with primary documents, incorporate them into original research projects, and even publish the results in institutional repositories. Jennifer Howard, “Special Collections as Laboratories,” Chronicle of Higher Education 16 October 2009     At MU, the Department of Special Collections and Rare Books is a vibrant laboratory for the humanities, where students and faculty are welcome to research and explore. Our collections exist to be used, and they are open to everyone. As part of a class session in Special Collections, your students will have hands-on access to the most inspiring and intriguing materials the Libraries have to offer. They will learn research skills no database can teach them – the ability to track down sources, make connections among documents, and read evidence from both content and physical clues. Most importantly, they will discover an enthusiasm and engagement with their subject that their textbooks cannot generate.
  2. Holdings include 10 complete medieval manuscripts, hundreds of manuscript fragments, and 27 incunabula (pre-1501 printed books), including a complete Nuremberg Chronicle and a single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible. These form an excellent resource for teaching the history of the book, and students are encouraged to touch and handle these materials. The manuscripts have been partially digitized (see Resources).
  3. The Comic Art Collections are diverse, providing evidence of popular culture from the 1870s to the present. The collections include over 4,000 comic books, over 900 pieces of original artwork, the papers of four prominent American cartoonists, and thousands of clippings, pieces of memorabilia, and reference materials.
  4. Artists’ books challenge our preconceptions of the form and content of a book, often featuring innovative structures, illustration techniques, subject matter, and materials. SCARaB maintains an active collecting interest in artists’ books and fine press imprints. The collection includes hundreds of exemplars, as well as a large collection of fine press ephemera.