Class visits

We encourage Stanford University instructors and their classes to use our rich and diverse collections. Stanford instructors are invited to select Special Collections materials for either a general or subject-specific class that enhances the educational goals of their students. We also welcome opportunities to describe our collections through bibliographic instruction classes and presentations.

To arrange use of Special Collections materials for your course or schedule an introductory class in our classroom (the Barchas Seminar Room), please send an email to Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to the classroom's size, we can only accommodate classes with no more than 20 students. Larger classes will be divided and separate sessions scheduled. Since there is a great demand to the use the Barchas Room, instructors are encouraged to contact us well in advance.

Use of the Barchas classroom is for Stanford University classes using Special Collections materials. Class meetings not using our materials should be scheduled in a classroom outside of the Department. At this time we are unable to accommodate classes that are not actively being offered at Stanford University.

To request a class in the Barchas seminar room

Please send an email to with the following information:

  1. The class number and title
  2. The date, time, and frequency of your class visit (one time, multiple, or all quarter)
  3. The approximate number of students in each class
  4. How long your class session will be (half hour, an hour, etc.)
  5. Is there an assignment, paper, or project the students will have to complete using Special Collections materials during the quarter? Is group study a requirement?

After you have submitted your request, a Special Collections staff liaison will provide you with general introductory information and an overview of basic researcher rules. Instructors have the option of choosing materials and conducting the session themselves or having a staff member select materials (in consultation with the instructor) and conduct the session.

Prior to the first day of class

Please make arrangements with your staff liaison to provide an orientation lecture and to discuss any ongoing requirements of the class. To ensure that department materials are available on the day of the class, please submit a list of the materials to be used and completed calls slips to the Public Services reference desk at least 3-4 days prior to the date of the scheduled class meeting. Information on how to page materials can be found on our request materials page. If Special Collections materials are to be used throughout the quarter, please provide a list of those materials to your staff liaison with the projected length of use.

To better prepare your students, please alert them that the following items are not permitted in the classroom:

  • Ballpoint pens or felt markers (pencils only)
  • Food or drink of any kind

Also, students will be asked to leave their backpacks and bags just inside the classroom door before the class begins. Please orientate your students to our complete list of policies before their arrival.

First day of class

On the day of class, instructors and students enter the Barchas Room through Green Library's Lane Room, not through Special Collections' reading room. Please ask your students to wash their hands before entering the Barchas Room. Your staff member liaison will assist you with the physical presentation of the materials, giving guidance on handling as needed.

Students using the Special Collections reading room independent of class time

Please ask your students to familiarize themselves to our policies before their arrival, noting the following information:

  • Course items on hold are viewed by one student at a time. If group viewing is part of the class assignment, instructors should make arrangements with the assigned Special Collections staff member for additional time in the Barchas Room
  • Patron registration is required of all users, even those participating in a class, before they can begin their research in our reading room
  • Only laptops, pencils, and loose paper are allowed in the reading room

Other resources

As an extension of the reading room, some of our materials are available in digital formats. We encourage instructors to use our digital collections in their classrooms as a way to further the Special Collections research experience. Our digital collections can be found here.

Room amenities

The Barchas classroom is equipped with a laptop projector, drop down screen, two chalkboards, various sizes of foam cradles, and approximately 20 chairs.