The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center supports the teaching mission of the University of Chicago. Classes from colleges and schools in the greater Chicago area are also welcome as space and staff availability allows. Each year the Special Collections hosts a diverse range of classes centered on rare books, archives, and manuscripts.

Instructional Spaces

Marie Louise Rosenthal Seminar Room

  • Capacity: 18
  • Features two plasma display screens and easy laptop connections

Special Collections Classroom

  • Capacity: 25
  • Equipped with a computer, projector and screen, audio system, and easy laptop connections to the screen display

Scheduling a Class Visit

  • Please send us your request. Please specify which subject areas and formats of Special Collections materials will be used for your class.
  • If you are an elementary, middle, or high school teacher, please visit our minor-age children in Special Collections page for more information.
  • Please make your reservation as far in advance as possible, but at least one week in advance is required.
  • Classes can be booked as single sessions, multiple sessions, or quarter-long. Special Collections materials must be used in all classes.
  • Once your class is confirmed, you can request materials for your class using the Special Collections online request system.
  • Due to space considerations, there is a limit of 12 special collections items for each class session, and it may be less if using large format materials.
  • Librarians are happy to guide you with item selection.

Teaching Support

Special Collections librarians:

  • Provide an introduction to Special Collections at the start of every class.
  • Offer full class sessions focused on Special Collections holdings in a specific subject area, lead introductory sessions on archival research, and provide general overviews of the history of printing, among many other topics.
  • Provide assistance helping you locate materials in Special Collections.
  • Are available to meet with instructors to create student assignments based on materials in Special Collections.

Preparing for a Class Visit

  • Please note that instructors are required to be present for the entire class session.
  • Please consult the guidelines for working with Special Collections materials ahead of your class visit and distribute them to your students.
  • When entering Special Collections, instructors and students will be asked to check their coats and bags in our locker room. Food and beverages are not allowed.
  • Students and faculty are welcome to take notebooks, secondary sources, and laptop computers into the instructional spaces.