Teaching Services

Katherine Reagan teaching.
Katherine Reagan, curator of rare books, teaching a freshman writing seminar.

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections offers a range of programs for teaching all levels of students about the relevance and use of historical resources. Each year RMC staff conduct about 150 class presentations, enabling students to experience rare books, manuscripts, and other original research materials first hand.

We welcome Cornell faculty members and graduate students to contact us about incorporating our teaching resources into their instruction plans. With custom designed presentations based on original artifacts, we introduce both undergraduate and graduate students to original research materials on a wide range of topics. We will also work with instructors to design advanced student assignments that encourage the research use of primary materials.

Subjects frequently presented include: medieval history and culture, the American Civil War, women's history, African American history, literature, sexuality, architecture and city planning, politics, European history and culture, Cornell and local history, popular culture, art history, science, natural history, and theater.

RMC also serves as a resource center for the study of book history, offering both a semester course in the Cornell English Department and a weeklong summer course for Cornell Adult University. Our collections feature original artifacts that show the history of the transmission of writing over time ­ from ancient cuneiform tablets, to papyrus fragments, to hand-written Medieval manuscripts, to the first books printed from movable metal type, to 20th century paperbacks, to the electronic book.

Two classroom spaces devoted to teaching with rare materials, located on the 2B level of the Carl A. Kroch Library, can easily accommodate presentations for groups of 10 to 60 people.

Cornell faculty and instructors interested in scheduling a class presentation in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections are welcome to contact:

Katherine Reagan
Ernest Stern '56 Curator of Rare Books &
Manuscripts and Assistant Director for Collections

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853