Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Instruction with Special Collections & University Archives

Resources on classroom instruction with SCUA

Course Description

Trains students in historical methods by focusing on research, writing, and communication skills. Students learn to understand historiographical debates, assemble and assess bibliographies, find and interpret primary sources, construct effective written arguments, cite sources correctly, and develop appropriate oral communication skills. Depending on the instructor, the course may also include the use of non-traditional sources such as film or material culture, as well as the interpretation of historic sites, monuments, and landscapes.

Sample Activity


  • Students will be able to evaluate primary sources through a historical lens
  • Students will be able to formulate research questions about a primary source
  • Students will gain an understanding of the materials available to investigate a particular topic.

Activity: Round Robin

Materials are set up as stations around the room. Students use guiding questions to investigate the materials and evaluate their content. Students rotate through each station every 5 minutes, then come back together at the end of the session to discuss their findings.


The session discussion often touches on how materials come to be in the University Archives, or in our collections in general, and how that affects historians' ability to construct historical narratives. The discussion often includes noting the gaps in the collections and understanding whose voices are represented.

Sample Item List

These materials provide a glimpse into Colgate's history during the 1940s-1960s.

Colgate University Libraries | 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346 | 315-228-7300