Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of ACRL 2021 Conference


Instruction using Special Collections and archival resources tends to play a minor role in library instruction programs. Special Collections is more often employed in exhibitions or public forums for lectures, presentations, and academic discussions. Hands-on opportunities to teach with Special Collections, if available, are typically limited to oneshot lecture sessions with a handful of resources specific to a singular course subject or assignment topic. While these “Show and Tell” sessions can be a great way to expose undergraduate students to archival primary sources, they often are used exclusively in history or humanities courses. A more engaging, tactile approach is certainly needed if Special Collections instruction is to engage students and faculty beyond these core areas. This article will share the experience of a Special Collections Librarian and Research Services Librarian designing, executing, and assessing a game-based instructional program designed to promote Special Collections and successfully engage the campus community in hands-on primary source literacy learning.


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