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Teaching with primary sources

Resources for primary source pedagogy at Brown and beyond.

Class sessions at the John Hay Library

The John Hay Library is currently closed; virtual services are available through our website or by contacting Follow updates here.

Hay Library staff collaborate with faculty at Brown and other universities to provide hands-on, in-depth introductions to using primary sources, as well as semester-long opportunities for research and engagement.

To request a class session, fill out the form on our Class Visits page. If you have not previously taught a session at the Hay, or are teaching a new class, we recommend meeting with a Hay Library staff member to discuss requesting materials and class format.

Classes can take many forms, and we're happy to tailor the session to your class goals. Classes are most successful when tied to an assignment or final paper/project, whether worked on in the class session (such as a writing prompt), involving individual student visits to the special collections reading room (please talk to staff before assigning these visits to your students), and/or follow up visits with the entire class.

Our schedules and rooms fill up quickly; we ask that you request your class session at least two weeks in advance. Requests for materials must arrive at least one week in advance of the session to give staff time to gather everything. To request material, please create in account in our online system, and use links in Josiah to request individual items. (Let us know if you need help requesting).

Hay Teaching Staff

COLLECTION                                                CONTACT

Military Collection                                           Peter Harrington

Brown University Archives                             Jennifer Betts

American History & History of Science           Holly Snyder

Medieval manuscripts & Incunabulae             Bill Monroe

Romance languages & Latin America            Patricia Figueroa

American and British Literature                      Heather Cole

LGBT Collections and Popular Culture          Heather Cole

Magic, Stamps                                               Tiffini Bowers