Teaching and Learning Support

Guest Lectures: Division staff are pleased to provide guest instruction, in-classroom or on-site as appropriate, to support classes which touch on our areas of expertise or collecting strengths. Lectures are typically one to two hours in length, but can be tailored to suit time constraints where feasible. Possible topics include:

  • Archival literacy: What are archives? How do they come to be, and what sorts of information do they contain? How can they support research and scholarship? How can we make the best use of them?
  • Book and information history: How have human processes and technologies for recording information changed over time? How do these evolutions in labour, form, format, and dissemination affect and inform broader discussions in scholarship (historiography, critical theory, the development of academe, etc.)?
  • Subject-specific instruction: The Division possesses an outstanding research collection — more than 3 linear kilometers of archival material and over 100,000 books (dating from 1150 to the present day) covering a wide range of subject areas. We are happy, where possible, to showcase specific materials from our holdings which relate to the subject material of your class — please refer to our website to get an idea of our collection strengths, or get in touch via e-mail.

Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate requests, but given time and scheduling constraints we suggest booking an instruction session as early as possible — preferably before the semester begins.

Research Consultations: We are also pleased to provide research consultations to students in the humanities and social sciences who are interested in historical primary source or archival research. This can pertain either to our holdings specifically or to more general strategies and techniques for locating and making use of historical primary source material. Consultations typically last from 45 minutes to an hour and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

To book a research consultation or inquire about teaching options, please email us at: archives@mcmaster.ca.