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Ball State University Archives and Special Collections: Instruction Program

Instruction Program

Ball State University Archives and Special Collections collaborates with university faculty, staff, and community members to design instructional sessions and projects that enhance the learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students through the use of primary source material.

Building upon primary source literacy skills, Archives and Special Collections offers instruction sessions around the following learning outcomes: 

  1. Develop skills to distinguish primary and secondary sources relevant to a research topic or creative project. 
  2. Analyze and interpret primary source materials in order to generate and refine a research topic, with the understanding that such analysis could result in the research question changing. 
  3. Search and evaluate collections of primary source materials within an archives and special collections repository. 
  4. Identify, communicate, and connect historic and present-day information through primary source material to develop original research writing assignments, creative, entrepreneurial endeavors and community projects,  exhibits, and digital scholarship opportunities. 
Archives & Special Collections supports a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences and we are always excited to assist in developing creative and innovative ways to use the collections and engage different audiences.

To request a class visit or to discuss instruction session options please contact

Type of Instruction

To request a class visit or to discuss instruction session options please contact

Class Visit

Bring your students to Archives and Special Collections for a class visit. We offer two different types of class visits:

  • Department Led: This is more of an orientation to Archives and Special Collections and includes basic information on what we offer, what archives and special collections is, and how primary source, printed material, and digital access can be utilized for student research.

  • Faculty Led: After a brief introduction by a member of the department, which can include a short overview, procedures, and/or searching, the faculty member will lead a class using items pulled from the Archives and Special Collections holdings.

Course Specific Research Project

Work with an archivist to help create a course specific project using material from our holdings. This could include a single assignment or more in-depth semester long project. This approach offers students deep understanding of Archives and Special Collections holdings; ability to examine and interpret primary sources; and allows students to undertake archival research through first-hand experience, ending in a research assignment or creative project.

Research Consultations 

Meet with an archivist one-on-one or as part of a course specific assignment to discuss finding and using material, specific collections overview, and research strategies.

Our Collection Strengths

Drawing and Documents Archive is a unique resource dedicated to preserving the history of Indiana's built environment. Our collections contain more than 130,000 original architectural drawings, landscape plans, blueprints, photographs, models, and building remnants, open to the general public for research, that tell the stories of Indiana’s sites and structures.

Middletown Studies collection holds a wealth of research materials on Muncie as Middletown. Records collected fall into two categories: Records of Middletown Research, which consist of documentation generated by various studies, and projects on Middletown

Special Collections Manuscript collections consist of special formats, first editions, fine printing and bindings, autographed books, and other items of significant value. Manuscript collections range from historic children books to publications and ephemera from diverse social organizations.

Stoeckel Archives of Local History, named for former Ball State history professor Althea L. Stoeckel, contains documentation on Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana, including records of business and industry, churches, clubs and organizations, education, genealogy, government, personal and family papers, photographs, and oral histories.

University Archives serves as the official memory of the institution, ensuring access to and preservation of the records of Ball State University that have long-term historical, legal, fiscal and administrative value.