Collection Highlights

A Collection Highlights session, or “show-and-tell” session, is an in-person look at a curated selection of library materials tailored to a specific topic. By combining our expertise with our collaborators’ interests, we select a balanced range of resources that meet the needs of the learners and workshop participants.
By interacting directly with items exclusively available in Ricker’s vault, closed stacks, and materials collections, session participants will learn to use the library as a source of inspiration and disciplinary insight.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learners will know how to access Ricker Library’s Vault and Closed Stacks Collections in order to retrieve items that are on-topic and relevant. 
  • Learners will handle sensitive Vault and Closed Stacks items in order to assess items’ contents, materials, and designs. 
  • Learners will analyze materials as they relate to the purpose of the session or their course of study.

Session Parameters

  • Session length ranges from 45 to 60 minutes.
  • We require at least 2 weeks of advance notice for Collection Highlights session requests.

Partner Testimonials


A library patron uses their smartphone to take a photo of “Your House” by Olafur Eliasson.

Exploring the library’s special collections with students and visitors is one of the great privileges and delights of teaching at UIUC. The staff at Ricker are always enthusiastic and knowledgeable—not only orchestrating the experience that I’ve planned for the students, but also in introducing us to materials that I didn’t know we had.

– Kristin Romberg, Associate Professor of Art History, School of Art & Design

Working with Siobhan McKissic and the Ricker Materials Collection has been a game-changer for my video game concept art class at Game Studies and Design (GSD 390 MCR). The collection provides my students with an invaluable opportunity to interact with a diverse range of materials, enriching their understanding and inspiring their creativity. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing authentic and innovative visual designs.

– Michael Curtin, Innovation Coordinator, School of Art & Design

Textile samples from Ricker Library’s Materials Collection are spread out on a table.

More Session Options