Holding Seminars at Houghton
The Seminar Room on the second floor of Houghton Library may be reserved by instructors wishing to bring a class to consult Houghton material as a group. We can accommodate classes between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:30 pm on weekdays throughout the year. We can sometimes make special arrangements for class meetings outside of these hours.
The Seminar Room is in great demand so early reservations are essential. To reserve the room contact Susan Halpert or James Capobianco, Reference Librarians in the Houghton Reading Room, by phone at 617-495-2440, by fax at 617-495-1376, or by e-mail.
When you contact us to reserve the room, please let us know:
- the course title and number
- contact information for the instructor (or TF) responsible for the class
- the number of students in the class (our classroom can accommodate 15 people per session)
- three possible dates and times for your class visit, in order of preference
- the best times for you to meet with a librarian and discuss materials and procedures for the class (this is a requirement for first time teachers at Houghton)
- whether you will need A/V equipment. The room has a laptop, overhead camera, and projector. If you’d like to use this equipment, please ask for a demonstration.
- whether you would like librarian/curatorial staff to be directly involved in the presentation. If so, we will do our best to match you up with a Houghton staff member who has experience with the materials you want to cover.
Requests for books and manuscripts must be submitted seven days before the class is scheduled to meet so we have sufficient time to gather material, get it approved by the curators, and find workable substitutes for any books or manuscripts that are too fragile for use. To request materials for a class, you must register for a Special Collections Request account online via the Special Collections Request Account. See Access to Special Collections for more information.
Requests are limited to a total of 12 books and manuscripts per session.
For the day of the class, please keep in mind that:
- no food or drink is permitted in the Library and that all bags, knapsacks, folders and other containers must be placed in lockers.
- students and faculty should bring as little as possible to the Seminar Room itself. Laptop computers are welcome; pencils and paper for note-taking are provided. The lobby guard must inspect all items that seminar participants bring in and out of the Seminar Room.
- all classes will be introduced briefly to the repository and provided with basic handling instructions.
- the material will be arranged on the Seminar Room table or in a display case. Students can circulate around the table to examine the material closely but books and manuscripts may not be passed from hand to hand.
- equipment (such as scanners or light sources) that rests directly on collection material is not permitted.
We look forward to having your class here at Houghton Library.