The Special Collections Research Center supports the teaching mission of the University of Kentucky by hosting a diverse range of instructional activities which make use of archival collections, rare books, and oral histories. We maintain a strong interest in working with undergraduate and graduate classes to introduce primary resources for research and experience based learning.
The Great Hall, Margaret I. King Library, 2nd floor
Suitable for small/larger classes or group work – three (3) large tables and up to 35/40 chairs available in various configurations
A projector and screen are available; media cart with TV monitor, VHS player, and multi-region DVD deck
Ford Center, Margaret I. King Library, 1st floor
Suitable for classes up to 28 students in small groups or lecture
Modular tables, internet, large screen
Five computer stations
Additional spaces in the Little Fine Arts Library, where available.
Please make your reservation at least two to three weeks in advance - allow more lead time if teaching support is requested.
The Great Hall can be reserved for individual sessions or for multiple recurring classes throughout the semester.
Additional Teaching support
If you would like to have a member of the Special Collections staff speak to your class, we can arrange for a variety of presentations, from a ten-minute introduction to a full class session.
Special Collections staff members can lead exercises devoted to our holdings in a specific subject area, lead introductory sessions on primary sources, and provide general overviews on a variety of topics.
Special Collections staff members can help you locate materials to support your teaching. We have extensive knowledge of our collections, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for suggestions.
Special Collections staff members can provide an overview of Breckinridge Research Room procedures, from a tour of the room to instruction on how to request material. We have tables large enough to accommodate small groups of faculty and students (2-8 people) conducting collaborative research, as well as individual researchers.
Faculty are also welcome to teach in Special Collections. We can provide the materials and space you need and leave you with your students.
Special Collections staff are happy to collaborate with faculty to craft assignments based on the collections. Consulting with Special Collections staff in advance will help us work with you to prepare for student needs.
We have samples of previous exercises available for your consideration.
Preparing for a class visit
The guidelines that apply to the Breckinridge Research Room also apply to the Great Hall, the Ford Center, or any classroom space where archival materials are present. Please distribute these guidelines to your students before class.
A Special Collections staff member will be present to greet your class. Visitors must use pencil only (we have an ample supply). In the Great Hall, please store bags, food and beverages, and other personal belongings away from the work space.
Students and faculty are welcome to bring notebooks, secondary sources, and laptop computers into the Great Hall.
(March 31, 2016) The UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center has initiated a new online requests system allowing all our faculty, students, patrons, and visiting researchers to submit requests for materials, schedule a visit, or place digital reproduction and oral history orders through a custom web-based interface.
Create an account to get started. All researchers visiting after March 31st will need to complete registration in their new account.
UK community members can login using their LinkBlue IDs while visitors can create their own login username and password. For more information, visit our FAQ.
The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.