Resources for Remote Learning

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Accessing the Kislak Center Collections

The Kislak Center's Charles K. MacDonald Reading Room is open by appointment to all researchers. Appointments are available on weekdays between the hours of 10am-4pm and must be made 24 hours in advance by emailing

When entering the Library, Penn-affiliated visitors must show a Green Penn Open Pass. Visitors from outside the Penn community must complete a COVID-19 screening through PennOpen Campus (learn how it works). The University requests that visitors not come physically to campus if they feel ill, have been exposed to a case of COVID-19, or if they are not up-to-date with their vaccinations.

To support remote access to our collections, we offer increased reprographic services. Users may request on-demand digitization of special collections material for up to 100 pages for free, depending on the condition of the material and any copyright restrictions. Requests can be submitted via the Special Collections Research Account form. For more information, please contact:

Remote Learning Support

We have developed a variety of pedagogical and research options and resources, available both to teachers and students at Penn and to the the wider academic community. These include:

  • Remote instructional sessions and research consultations
  • Online teaching resources adapted to specific collections and topics
  • Digitization of collection materials

These resources are outlined in more detail below.

We are happy to discuss how the wide variety of primary resources in the Kislak Center can be made available for courses at Penn and elsewhere. We encourage instructors and students to contact us for assistance and to pose any questions about the pedagogical options that are available.

Remote instructional sessions and research consultations

Kislak Center staff are available by appointment to present collections using remote imaging tools such as a document camera. We can, for example, show materials to students during class sessions or review items with researchers and students who have no other way of viewing material essential to their work. Please contact us to discuss arranging remote instruction or consultation sessions.

Online resources for teaching and research

A growing number of resources in the Kislak Center have been digitized and are available through a variety of platforms. Also available are online exhibitions, videos, pedagogical materials, and digital humanities platforms. This list is intended to provide a brief overview:

Digitization of collection materials (Reprographics)

The Kislak Center and the Library at the Katz Center provide digital scanning services, subject to curatorial review and any appropriate copyright or physical restrictions. At present, we are prioritizing requests for instruction-related needs. We are happy to consult with you about how we can facilitate research and teaching through digitization.

More information about Reprographic Services.

In many cases, scanned collection items are made available publicly through the library's new digital repository, Colenda.