Class Instruction

The Lear Center welcomes and encourages faculty to schedule class sessions in the Palmer Room. Class sessions can range from general introductions to primary sources to project-based instruction using primary sources. Classes are led by staff knowledgeable in best practices for archival research and preservation. We can provide a brief introduction to Special Collections and Archives or conduct entire class sessions, depending on the wishes of the instructor. 

Arranging a Visit 

Faculty who wish to use the collections during the semester should contact Lear Center staff to collaborate and plan. The Lear Center staff are happy to discuss class projects and potential research topics using collections in the Lear Center. Please provide Lear Center staff with at least two weeks' advance notice when arranging a class session in the Center. This allows us to ensure that the items you need are available and that we are prepared to arrange and introduce the materials. Students are encouraged to handle materials, but should make certain that their hands are clean (the Lear Center does not require the use of gloves for handling books and manuscripts). Lear center staff can offer preliminary instruction on the handling of delicate materials. 

If you would like to find a way to integrate rare materials into research or class projects, don't hesitate to make an appointment to come in and discuss this with Lear Center staff. 

Why use our collections? 

The Lear Center offers a unique opportunity on campus for students to have exposure to rare books, archives, and cultural heritage items. Through the use of our collections, students learn the basic skills necessary for researching primary source materials. We have collections in many subject areas, with particular strengths in the following fields:

  • English and American literature
  • Early Modern European literature
  • American History
  • Environmental Studies
  • Women's Studies
  • Book Arts and the history of printing
  • Children's literature and illustration
  • History and Architecture of Connecticut College and New London