For the Fall 2020 semester, all instruction at the Rubenstein Library will be conducted online. Rubenstein Librarians are available to help you design engaging and meaningful synchronous and asynchronous sessions, activities, and assignments that make use of our digitized and born-digital collections in order to meet a wide variety of learning goals.

Get in touch and we’ll pair you with a librarian who will work with you to develop an instruction session and/or assignment tailored to your course's subject matter and learning objectives.

Class sessions, activities, and assignments

Class sessions

Below are examples we can offer online and customize to your course. Our approach to classes informs how we design and teach our online sessions.

  • Working with Primary Sources: Introduces students to effectively using and analyzing primary sources with digitized materials from our collections. We will work with you to identify a selection of primary sources that connect to the content of your course and expose students to the diverse forms primary sources can take.

  • Exploring Digital Collections: Helps students become proficient users of our digital collections from finding relevant sources to understanding the differences between using physical objects and digital surrogates for research.

Activities & Assignments

  • Teaching Materiality Online: In the special collections context, materiality means the physical qualities of books, manuscripts, objects, and other primary sources, and the information we glean, including sensory experiences, from handling these items in person. This guide offers creative activities to offer students embodied, physical experiences with the books, artifacts, papers, and objects in their own spaces while introducing them to the possibilities and limitations of the archives. 

Available Teaching Modules

These modules are designed to build students’ primary source literacy skills and are ready to be used and adapted for your course. Each module is centered on a set of digitized sources from the Rubenstein Library and paired with an activity or worksheet.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

This module focuses on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the system which forced the enslavement of Africans who were transported to the western world. These documents reflect only a limited look into the Rubenstein Library's archives of the trade but provide an important window into understanding the legacy of the trade and the people involved.


  • Analyze primary source documents 

  • Interpret accounts of people involved in the trade of African people

  • Evaluate and identify economics/prices related to the trans-Atlantic trade in each document

Check back for more soon!

Video Tutorials

We’ve created these videos to introduce students to the Rubenstein Library and its resources. We may use them in sessions we teach, and you should feel free to incorporate them into your course on your own.

  • Introduction to the Rubenstein Library (Coming Soon)

  • Finding the Rubenstein Library (Coming Soon)

  • Finding Digitized Primary Sources (Coming Soon)