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Teaching the History of Medicine in Special Collections

This guide covers resources that can be used to teach the history of medical topics using Special Collections and digital materials.

Preparing For Your Visit

Before your appointment, students will need to complete a 20-minute onboarding module that covers proper handling procedures for materials in Special Collections. You will need to make the link available to them in advance, whether in Canvas or via email. Students will have the option of forwarding you a copy of their certificate for completing the module afterwards.

On the day of your appointment, your students should meet at the classroom in Ellis 406. They will need to stop in the all-gender bathroom at the top of the stairs to wash their hands. All backpacks, coats, food, drink, and personal items will need to be left in the vestibule before entering the classroom. Only loose-leaf paper, pencils, laptop computers, and mobile devices in silent mode are permitted for use in the classroom. Pencils are available on request.

Materials should remain on the table while being consulted. Book cradles, pillows, and weighted snakes should be employed to aid use of fragile materials. Non-flash photography is allowed, but must be approved and supervised by staff. No tracings or rubbings may be made without specific permission from Special Collections staff and no marks may be added or erased.

If students come back to use the collections for a project, they will be working in the reading room, where similar rules apply. Students can make a research appointment in advance on our website by under Research Appointments.

Some handouts are provided below that you can print or email to your classes to help prepare your students for where they're going and what to do before they get here.

Teaching with Primary Sources