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Exploration & Inquiry is a teaching resource that aims to connect users with UCLA Library’s digital collections.

The resource is organized as three modules, each addressing different aspects of using digital collections, including:

  • Understanding search and the digital collections interface (Strategic Search)
  • Evaluating types of authority in primary resources (Points of View)
  • Examining absences within digital collections and their implications on shaping research and the historical record (Presence and Absence)

Using Exploration & Inquiry for instruction

Exploration & Inquiry is an asynchronous teaching resource meant to give users the skills necessary to use digital collections for research. It would be a helpful tool for introducing archival and primary source research, as well as for acquainting users with the UCLA Library and its digital resources. 

Its development was informed by the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, with special emphasis on the following frames: Searching as Strategic Exploration, Authority Is Constructed and Contextual, and Information Has Value. Learning objectives are listed within each module.

While Exploration & Inquiry examines digital collections connected to UCLA, the methods and learning objectives from the modules could be applied to any digital collection.

Feedback on Exploration & Inquiry is very welcome and can be submitted here. Feedback forms for each module are also available on the module pages.

Additional resources

Exploration & Inquiry largely explores UCLA Library Digital Collections, of which UCLA Library Special Collections houses many of the physical originals, and the International Digital Ephemera Project, a global partnership focused on collecting ephemeral materials at risk of being lost. Other collections associated with UCLA include the Pacific Rim Research Library Alliance, a cooperative collection with academic libraries across the Pacific Rim, and the Sinai Palimpsests Projecta collection of manuscripts held at St. Catherine’s Monastery, the world’s oldest continually operating monastery.

Other digital collections that may be of interest include:

And many more—feel free to search and discover even more digital collections.


Exploration & Inquiry was created by Savannah Lake, MLIS ’20, as part of the Digital Resource Development Initiative, sponsored by the UCLA Department of Information Studies.

All images on this website are from the Los Angeles Times Photograph Collection, and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. See these works in full below.

Exploration & Inquiry was created as part of the Digital Resource Development Initiative, sponsored by UCLA Department of Information Studies
Photographs are from the Los Angeles Times Photographs Collection and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License