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Learning and Teaching

Detail of manicule in early printed book

Support for Learning and Teaching

Teaching sessions in the Reading Room have been suspended, however, the Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse, can provide images or help to create videos of the different materials for use in online lectures and seminars. The final video is compiled and edited by Multimedia Web Developer, Steven Hargraves, so please allow plenty of time to ensure jobs can be accommodated alongside current workloads. Email Special Collections Librarian Karen Backhouse or with your requirements and an indication of your deadline, or book a convenient time to work with the collections in the Reading Room.

There is also a series of YouTube videos available, under Finding Aids, to assist students in using the collections and to introduce the different formats of materials that may be useful for their academic studies. These videos may be utilised for online sessions whilst physical access to our collections is restricted due to Covid-19.

Information Literacy Strategy

Special Collections is embedded in the Library and Information Literacy Strategy which aims to enable our students to develop lifelong information skills by using a range of innovative practices to enhance sessions. Sessions are designed in consultation with course tutors and there are a number of different ways to utilise the collections in a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, hands-on workshops, and comparative studies with online resources, to offer a unique experience.

All students receive an introduction to Special Collections to learn about what we have, how best to access the collections and to understand the regulations to be adhered to in the Reading Room. For interactive workshops students must receive a compulsory 20-minute training session in handling rare books to inform students of the importance of collection care and to familiarise them with using book supports and snake weights. Sessions are designed in consultation with course tutors to meet the needs of particular cohorts.

To book a session in A&SC or to make enquiries please email Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse, or