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Guide to Special Collections & Archives

Planning Your Class Visit

Special Collections Staff offer instructional workshops in conducting research at a Special Collections and Archives department, and in handling rare materials and different formats. We can draw relevant books or materials for a class session or work with faculty to produce course specific projects. We encourage student engagement, evaluation, and use of primary source materials in courses assignments. 

The department houses an array of Cal State LA and Los Angeles community based collections, including our manuscript, poster, rare book and photography collections. 

All sessions will be held in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room located in the 2nd Floor Palmer Wing of the University Library.


Sessions include:

Introduction to visiting and conducting research in a Special Collections & Archives 

Assignment Specific Instruction

Primary Source Analysis

Assignment Consultations

Special Collections & Archives Tours

Exhibit Prep Workshop

Request an Instruction Session

Requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance. To schedule an class session, fill out the Instruction Request Form.

Note: After submitting your request, please allow 1-2 business days for confirmation. Not all requests are guaranteed. Class visit confirmation is subject to status of collection requested and staff or reading room availability.


Class visits take place in the Special Collections Reading Room, Palmer Wing RM 2079. We can accommodate a maximum of 20 students at a time. If your class is larger then 20 students, we can schedule two sessions. Smaller class sessions allows your students to have a hands-on experience with the Special Collections and archival materials.

Every session includes an introduction to Special Collections and proper handling of materials.  

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300
323-343-3988