Pursue Your Own Research

The Gotlieb Center is home to countless important primary sources covering a wide range of subject areas. Please consult our Subject Guides for a list of many topics represented in our holdings. You can also search descriptions of our collections. Feel free to contact us directly and an archivist will assist you in finding material relevant to your interests.

Plan a Class Session for Your Students

An easy way to introduce primary source material to your students is through a single class session held at the Gotlieb Center. An archivist will work with you to customize the session to your specifications and present the material to the students, while providing contextual information and answering questions. Professors often report that these sessions are their students' favorite session in a given course. Many students follow up by undertaking further research at the Gotlieb Center. Past classes include "America Since the 1970s," "Performing Women," and "Musicology Research Techniques."

Have Your Students Use the Archive for Research

You may want to incorporate a particular item, a group of material, or entire collections into your syllabus for a course. Center staff will help you find the best material in our holdings to meet your instructional objectives. Students may use these items in our reading room.

Have Your Students Attend a Discovery Seminar

Our Student Discovery Seminars are events designed to serve as encounters between students and primary sources outside of a research or study environment. An archivist or other Gotlieb Center staff member chooses a topic, then selects a group of material related to that topic. The material is placed on the tables in the research room at the archive, where the students can examine the materials first-hand. A short introduction is given by the staff member who assembled the material, as well as a Boston University faculty member with expertise in the selected topic. Some past topics include "Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War," "Age of Aquarius: Revolutionary Theatre of the 1960s," "Espionage and Spies," "Cinema Rebels and Pioneers," and "America at War." You can check our schedule here.

Curriculum Development Using Primary Resources

A class utilizing primary source material provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their analytical skills and critical thinking. The experience allows students to establish a personal connection to the topic. It requires them to search for information, carefully gather data, weigh evidence and evaluate differing perspectives while developing their intellectual curiosity, ultimately leading them to want to learn more. The material is used by students in our reading room. There are many creative ways to design your curricula by using our original and scanned material. Please contact us for more information.

Tours of Exhibitions

The exhibitions at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center are a vital part of our role as cultural presenters. The exhibitions enable Boston University students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public, to explore first-hand the Center's remarkable collections.

Drawing on personal papers, news articles, historic pictures, personal effects and other memorabilia to tell their stories, our exhibits provide rare insights into both the public personae and the private lives of the more than 2,000 extraordinary people whose archives are housed here. The Center also presents exhibits on political, social, religious and cultural movements that have played critical roles in contemporary culture, such as the African American experience, 20th century espionage, or the history of comic art. For more information on tours, please contact us at To see the list of current exhibitions, please click here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. in Your Curriculum

The papers in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection are relevant to several subjects, including history, language arts, religion, and civil rights. King is an inspirational, iconic figure recognized by most age groups. He stands as a positive role model - one that the students can get to know more personally through his papers. Please contact the Center for further information.