Online Open Sessions

We are always looking for fresh perspectives on our Collection.

We invite instructors or groups of students to submit proposals for ways to incorporate objects from our Collection into your class, as illustration for your ideas or sources for counter-reading throughout your discussions. You would bring us a renewed understanding of the ways our archives can support your work, and we would provide you research assistance and access to our digitized material.

We consider our Collection an active resource that invites critical interrogation of the past, speculation on the future, and engagement with our contemporary moment. Online Open Sessions aim to connect our extensive archives in Montreal to instructors, students, and researchers from around the world who wish to critically examine our materials, and we particularly encourage reflections that aim to read objects from our Collection through the lenses of race and social justice, environmental racism, and settler colonialism. In addition, we hold a collection of rare archival materials on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and want to hear what scholars who work on or from those geographies have to say about those sources.

We also want to foster relationships with institutions outside of North America and Western Europe and especially welcome applications from instructors who teach and produce research outside of those regions, as well as applications from sessional/adjunct faculty in general.


Sessions may take place live over video chat, or we may provide a PDF package of digitized materials, depending on what kinds of objects are requested.

Depending on the topic, we can help you navigate our website to find relevant resources, and we may be able to provide you with additional digitized images. In some cases we can also offer a live session, if someone from our team is available to provide additional context on your topic.

For sessions that include a live component, Online Open Sessions are available Monday through Friday. We will do our best to accommodate a diversity of time zones in scheduling live sessions.

For sessions without a live component, the materials can be used at any time.

For both kinds of sessions, approximately fifteen objects are usually included, though this varies by material type and condition.


Proposals for Winter/Spring 2022 sessions must be received by 4 April. We will respond within two weeks.

Please send an email to with:

• 3 to 5 relevant objects from our Collection (you will select the remaining objects in consultation with our Reference team)
• A brief description of the session you would lead and its primary objective or questions
• A course syllabus
• At least two specific dates and times to conduct the session


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