Watkinson Library welcomes the opportunity to make our materials and staff available to support a variety of educational experiences.

From The Trinity Reporter (Winter 2004).


We believe that when students engage deeply with our materials they awaken curiosity, become more alert and attentive, deepen their awareness of history and culture, and develop new avenues for research and creativity.

We invite you to use our class request form to discuss your class’s goals and needs and how our collections and staff might help advance them.

Requesting a class

The Watkinson Library seminar room can accommodate class sessions of up to 20 students between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. If you need to arrange a class session outside of these times and limits, please fill out our class request form and we will try to assist you.

Because staff and space are in high demand, we recommend that you place your request as early as possible so that we can ensure availability. We request a minimum of two weeks notice for classes so that we can check room, staff, and item availability and inspect the condition of materials.

When placing your request, we ask that you provide:

  • course title and number
  • instructor contact information
  • number of students in the class
  • a list of possible dates and times with preferences indicated
  • any desired assistance from staff prior to or during class
  • any special accommodations requested
  • A/V requirements

Optionally, you may provide us with a copy of your class’s syllabus.

Preparing for your class

You can identify potential materials to use in your class by searching OneSearch, the Trinity College Library catalog, to find print materials, or ArchivesSpace, to locate archival and manuscript collections. You can also contact our staff to assist you in identifying materials that would meet your class needs.

We ask that you submit requests for materials well in advance of your class session, ideally 2 weeks prior to the class meeting. This gives us time to assess the availability and condition of the materials you have requested and to suggest substitutes if necessary.

We recommend that you request no more than 12 items for a 90 minute class session as fewer items provide students with greater opportunity for deeper investigation of the material and space in the seminar room is limited.

Preparing your students

We believe that students should be prepared to do their research a bit differently when working with special collection materials. Special handling, unprocessed collections, home-grown citations, access and use restrictions, and the incomplete digitization of materials can make working with archives and rare books a challenge.

But we’re here to help. We recommend that students come prepared to take notes (with a pencil or an electronic device), look at only 1 rare book or 1 folder of archival materials at a time, and utilize our digitized resources when available. Students may take images of materials using their personal cameras and devices.