Instruction Program

Heritage Resources Instruction Program

Heritage Resources' facilities are currently open for in-person research (advance appointments required at CPNWS and University Archives, and encouraged at Special Collections). We remain eager to work with faculty and students to offer instruction on finding and using our programs and collections (virtual sessions preferred, face-to-face possible). Please contact us to discuss teaching and learning opportunities: or (360) 650-7534 (if calling, please leave a voicemail).

We are also pleased to offer a series of online instructional videos about primary sources and how to access them:

Introduction to Heritage Resources: Primary Sources for Teaching, Learning & Research
An introduction to primary sources, including those available at Western through the collections of Heritage Resources, with information about how to use them in teaching, learning, and research.


Finding Historical Primary Sources at Western and Beyond 
Strategies and resources for finding primary sources in Western Libraries' circulating collections and at other institutions.


Discovering Resources Through MABEL: Training for Students and Instructors
Training on how to use MABEL, Western's digital assets management platform, to access select digitized content from Heritage Resources' collections.



Heritage Resources wants to ensure that every student who graduates from Western is able to find, understand and interpret a wide variety of research sources in various contexts throughout their lives. This is a life-long learning skill and a critical component of both information and academic literacy. The rare, original and archival sources collected by our programs are valuable teaching and learning tools that can enhance, enrich and enliven research in nearly every subject. To encourage and provide opportunities for students to discover and use our unique collections, we have developed a curriculum that provides engaging methods for accessing, researching and interpreting those materials.

Instructional activities may include in-class lectures and presentations, field trips, and hands-on exercises designed to emphasize active learning, group discussion, and reflection. Through these activities students will be able to:

  • Discover the three Heritage Resources units and the understand the scope of their collections;

  • Navigate search and access tools to find quality resources that support various research needs;

  • Use critical anlaysis skills to identify bias and point-of-view, and evaluate the relevance/reliability of information the sources contain;

  • Understand and internalize basic rules for using archives and special collections, and be comfortable communicating with staff to facilitate research requests.

The Heritage Resources instruction program is intended to provide a consistent experience for students and faculty of all academic fields; however, it is also flexible and may be tailored to suit specific course needs and/or faculty requests. Please contact us at if you'd like to learn more about these services or schedule an instructional session. For a general overview of our programs and collections, please click here to view our online video tutorial. Detailed information about the Heritage Resources instruction program, including suggested class activities and session topics, can be found in this document.