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Instruction sessions

Librarians and archivists at the WVRHC are available to lead sessions on various topics concerning West Virginia history, genealogy, art, archival management, and other topics on request. Instruction sessions can be focused on a specific area of the collection, such as the Rare Books Collection, or on facets of the collection; such as manuscripts and archives, maps, microfilm, audio-visual materials, etc. Class sessions typically include hands-on instruction involving primary sources such as archives, and rare books.

Our instruction is guided by the SAA/RBMS Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy. While each session is tailored to the needs of the class, generally, students leave our sessions being able to:

  • Evaluate and analyze material
  • Think critically about materiality, authority, power, and context
  • How archival silences impact the historical record
  • Understand the relationship between primary and secondary sources 
  • How to find the material for their projects 

Our Team

Types of sessions

  • Librarian Led
    • Each of our sessions are tailored to the needs of your class. Our librarians will meet with you to discuss the goals for your session and what historical era or subject you'd like for us to focus on. We then select materials and design an activity to engage your students and provide hands-on time with the material. And of course we love having professors contribute their knowledge during the session!
  • Faculty Led
    • Some faculty know which material they'd like for their class to use and have the lesson planned, they just need our support to facilitate the session. For these classes, we will do a brief orientation so that students understand our access policy and reading room rules. We remain in the room to assist with materials handling and answer any questions that arise during the faculty-led session.

To book a session at the WVRHC, please fill out the Instruction Request form at least two weeks in advance.

Sample Lesson Plans

Rare Books and Printed Resources
  • Shakespeare Folio lesson plan
Congressional and Political Papers
  • Civics in the Archives: Engaging Undergraduate and Graduate Students with the Children's Health Insurance Program papers

  • The West Virginia Flood of 1985: The Government Responds

  • Congress, the Great Society in the 1960s, and Today

  • Photo Analysis activity
  • Think-Pair-Share activity
  • Embeded Archivist final projects