Special Collections Research Center

Teach with Primary Sources

Frequently Asked Questions


At what level do my students need to be to succeed in the SCRC education program?

Students at all levels and educational background will benefit from participation in the program. Instruction sessions can be customized to the learning objectives and aims of your course.

Do I have to be teaching in a certain discipline for my class to visit the SCRC or to use your collections?

No! We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with instructors from all disciplines. We are always looking for new and creative ways to partner with instructors and use our collections. Even if our collections don’t line up with the subject of your course, sessions can be crafted to focus on skills instead of only content.

What are the requirements for my class to work with the SCRC?

Instructors should provide up to a month’s notice for customized learning activities and we ask that you schedule class visits as far in advance as possible. It is preferable that instructors also participate in the sessions.

What kinds of collections does the SCRC have for use in my classes?

Our main collecting focus is the social, cultural, economic, and political history of Kentucky. Even though we have a regional focus, our collections are diverse and comprehensive enough to create learning experiences for courses in almost any field or discipline. These collections include manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, rare books, artifacts, and more.

What are some examples of learning exercises that you have done for past classes?

You can see some examples of class exercises, complete with rationale and materials used, by visiting the Teaching with Primary Sources at UK LibGuide.

How can I find some primary source collections that might work for my class?

You can see a wide variety of digitized materials and collection guides at exploreuk.uky.edu.

What facilities does the SCRC offer? Are there class size restrictions?

The SCRC has two main teaching spaces. The Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center Classroom and the Great Hall. We offer flexible seating that can be customized to the education sessions being offered. While there are no formal size restrictions, we recommend that a session not exceed 50 students.

How do I schedule a time for my class to visit?

Please use the Instruction Session Request Form. If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss a potential visit further, please contact the SCRC Education Archivist, Matt Strandmark at mstrandmark@uky.edu, or 859-257-1949.

What are the benefits of teaching with primary sources?

The movement for teaching with primary sources is gaining in popularity throughout the country, as more archival repositories and special collections libraries recognize the need to provide access to records in new and creative ways. We use our collections to challenge assumptions, illustrate opposing viewpoints, question historical judgements, and to present an organic model for original scholarship. Learn more about teaching with primary sources

SCRC Front Desk and Main Entrance
Breckinridge Research Room
All Other Questions & Comments: WebAdmin@lsv.uky.edu