Embedding digitised primary sources in your Teaching and Learning

Special Collections are here to support academic staff with online teaching activities.

We have a substantial and diverse range of online resources available across Manchester Digital Collections, Luna and Medium. Our Special Collections staff are also on hand to provide bespoke advice on embedding Special Collections content in Teaching and Learning.

How Special Collections can help

The University of Manchester Library’s world renowned Special Collections span five millennia and cover topics from Gilgamesh to Ginsberg. The collections are a unique resource of rare books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, archives, oral history, art works and objects that lend themselves to research and learning across the spectrum of subjects.

Whatever you are looking for, we now have a wealth of curated resources freely available in Manchester Digital Collections including:

  • Medical collections
  • Maps
  • Social and political history
  • Literature
  • Photographs
  • Street literature including French Revolutionary prints
  • Material culture from Manchester Museum and Whitworth Art Gallery

We also have a wide range of digital material from previous projects on the Library Digital collections webpage

Curated Special Collections Teaching Resources

During the pandemic curators created a series of interdisciplinary digital resources suitable for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. These themed teaching resources offer curated collections of primary source materials, for both tutors designing and delivering teaching and learning and students looking for a dissertation topic

For example, ‘Made in Manchester’ tells the story of the city from its industrial past through to its multi-cultural present, richly documented by the collections held in the University of Manchester Library. Themes included are:

Digitised Resources held at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre

The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre holds archive collections relating to race and ethnicity, racism, race relations, and the histories and experiences of Black, Asian, global majority, refugee and migrant communities.

As a contemporary archive with many living donors, some of the archive records within their collections have restricted permissions and are not suitable for open digital access (though are often available for research purposes). This means they currently have only selected highlights of records for general digital access. 

In addition, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre staff can often make records available for teaching and learning – please contact them on rrarchive@manchester.ac.uk to discuss how they can support you.   

Support for tutors using digitised Special Collections

Please contact Special Collections if you would like to hear more about how we can work with you to embed primary sources into the classroom experience

Find out more

You can also find more information on Teaching and Learning with Special Collections at the University of Manchester here:

Or email for further details: uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk