The Clark Library welcomes class visits from local educational institutions. While the majority of these visits are college and university seminars visiting for a single class period, we welcome a diverse range of students and arrangements, including primary and secondary schools, large lecture formats, community college classes, and UCLA Extension programs.

Scheduling a Visit

All class visits must be arranged at least two weeks in advance. Please notify us at least 72 hours in advance of rare materials that need to be paged for a given class session. Please contact Head of Research Services Philip Palmer for more details and to book a classroom.

A limited number of courses may meet at the Clark Library for the duration of the quarter or semester, with preference given to UCLA Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminars and other UCLA classes. If you are interested in holding a course at the Clark for an entire quarter or semester, please contact us as soon as possible. Such an arrangement is well suited for classes on book history, bibliography, graphic design, or other topics that will make extensive use of the collections.

Developing Your Lesson Plan

Class visits typically last between 1 and 2 hours. In consultation with staff, the visit can include a tour of the grounds and building as well as hands-on experience with rare books, manuscripts, and/or artwork from the Clark’s collection. We have found that 10-15 (or fewer) items per class tends to work best, and we ask that no more than 25 items be pulled for each session. Our librarians are eager to work with teachers to develop focused exercises and/or assignments for students based on our collections. See sample assignments here (coming soon!). Topics and learning outcomes could include primary source literacy, fundamentals of archival research, the history of books and typography, and the history of media and information. Other questions that our librarians and collections can help you explore include: What is authenticity? What is a primary vs. secondary source? How does one examine a primary source for its materiality and historical context? For more on primary source literacy, we recommend the RBMS-SAA authored “Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy.”

The following subjects are just some of many supported by the Clark’s collections (links bring up sample book lists):

Early Modern British Literature (Long C18th; SwiftBritish Literature IShakespeare and Renaissance)
Early Modern British History (Long C18th; C17th Political and Religious Controversy)
Early Modern Philosophy
Early Modern French Literature
Early Modern Paleography and Manuscript Studies
Gender and Sexuality Studies (Long Eighteenth Century; Wilde and the 1890s)
Oscar Wilde and the 1890s
Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Whitman, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, et al.)
William Morris Circle
History of the Book
History of Printing and Bookmaking
History of Typography and Graphic Design
Fine Press Printing (especially California Printing)
Book Arts
History of California and the West (especially Montana)

Classroom Options

The Clark can make one of three rooms available for a class visit, depending on class size and staff availability. Standard A/V (Powerpoint, internet) and a document camera are available in any room.

North or South Bookrooms

Optimum class size: 15-22
These rooms served as the Library’s original collection storage spaces, with bookshelves made of bronze, a copper alloy, in homage to Clark’s copper mining heritage. With atmospheric lighting and seventeenth-century portraiture, the North and South bookrooms are the most frequently-used classrooms for Clark visits.

Smart Classroom

Optimum class size: maximum of 12
The newly refurbished smart classroom is outfitted with a large touch-screen monitor, Apple TV, iPad, Document Camera, and dedicated wifi network. A great resource for collaboration and digital humanities projects.

Drawing Room

Optimum class size: 25+
While frequently used as an event space, the Clark Library’s drawing room, also known as “Mr. Clark’s Music Room,” may be used to accommodate larger class visits, including large lectures.

In special circumstances, Clark staff may be able to provide rare materials instruction on campus. Please contact Head of Research Services Philip Palmer for more information.

Getting to the Clark

Please see our Hours and Directions page for information on getting to the Clark. Ample free parking is available. Some support for bus services is available for large lecture visits; please contact Head of Research Services Philip Palmer for information.

As a special collections library, we take the security and preservation of our collection seriously. Food and drink are prohibited in the Library. Visitors will be asked to place bags and coats in lockers or other designated locations before viewing rare materials. Pencils (but not pens), cell phones, notebooks, and laptop computers are permitted. Flashless photography is allowed.

In consultation with staff, students may handle collection materials on display. Library staff will provide instruction on proper and safe handling but ask that each student be responsible for washing their hands prior to sessions with collection materials.