Teaching with Rare Materials

By Olivia Gillingham, Library Specialist in the Marian Library

When visiting the Marian Library, people are often amazed by the scope and size of our collections. Even after a little over a year of working here, I continue to be surprised by some of the items my colleagues and I come across as we work on projects or shift collections during moves. Recently, while moving prints and engravings to the Marian Library’s new space on the third floor, I rediscovered “The Death of the Virgin,” an etching by Rembrandt from 1639. Lately we have also added a few new prints to our collection, including “Pietà” by Gwendolyn Raverat, the granddaughter of Charles Darwin, and an 18th century broadside with a woodcut promoting prayer for condemned prisoners.

These many treasures: the beautiful prints and etchings, paintings, rare books, and vintage pamphlets, maps, and brochures, hold much potential value as research or instruction materials for the students and professors of UD. In order to make our collections more discoverable to the UD community, and increase the frequency of their use, we have developed an instruction support page, “Teaching with Rare Materials”, on the Marian Library website. Here, faculty can search via course subject to see how our collections may be useful to them for enrichment, instruction, or research in their classes. From Environmental Biology to Women's and Gender Studies, we have materials that will complement your course and teach students how to utilize the archival collections they have at their disposal.

As the school year approaches, we at the Marian Library encourage faculty members to explore the new Teaching with Rare Materials page online, and to contact the Marian Library to speak with its faculty and staff (mlimri@udayton.edu). You may be surprised by what you discover, and how creatively you could use our collections in your course. The Marian Library, a hidden gem, holds materials you and your students will not want to miss!

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