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The Special Collections Handbook, 2nd edition

Dec 2016 | 336pp

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9781783301263
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9781783301287
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The Special Collections Handbook, 2nd edition

Alison Cullingford

This comprehensive and no-nonsense guide to working with special collections and rare books is an essential day-to-day companion.

Working with special collections can vary dramatically from preserving a single rare book to managing and digitizing vast mixed-media archives, yet the role of the information professional is always critical in tapping into the potential of these collections, protecting their legacy and bringing them to the attention of the wider public. This book offers up-to-date guidance which pulls together insights from best practice across the heritage sector to build innovative, co-operative and questioning mind-sets that will help them to cope in turbulent times.

The Handbook covers all aspects of special collections work: preservation, developing collections, understanding objects, emergency planning, security, legal and ethical concerns, cataloguing, digitization, marketing, outreach, teaching, impact, advocacy and fundraising.

New to this edition:

  • coverage of new standards and concepts including unique and distinctive collections (UDCs), The Leeds Typology, Archive Accreditation, PD 5454:2012 and PAS 197
  • discussion of the major changes to laws affecting special collections including UK copyright law relating to library/archive exception and orphan works and forthcoming changes to data protection in the EU
  • exploration of new trends in research including the rise of digital humanities, open access, the impact agenda and the REF
  • updates to the sections on marketing, audience development and fundraising to include social media, customer journey mapping and crowdsourcing and more
  • consideration of impact and indicators, digitization and new skills frameworks from CILIP and RBMS.

Readership: This is the essential practical guide for anyone working with special collections or rare books in libraries, archives, museums, galleries and other heritage organizations. It is also a useful introduction to special collections work for academics and students taking library and information courses.

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


INTRODUCTION 
Introducing Special Collections
Using The Special Collections Handbook
Special Collections in a cold climate . . . 
Some essential organizations and web resources
Useful mailing lists


1. THE CARE OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introducing collections care
A note on terminology
A note on standards
Understanding the physical nature of Special Collections
Understanding the impact of the environment on Special Collections
Understanding buildings, storage and Special Collections
Handling Special Collections safely
Caring for collecions in exhibitions
Understanding conservation and the role of the conservator
Case study: the Great Parchment Book
Understanding preservation reformatting
Introducing digital preservation
Managing preservation of Special Collections
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


2. EMERGENCY PLANNING FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
A note on terminology
Understanding Special Collections emergencies
Preventing and preparing for emergencies in Special Collections
Planning for technological incidents 
Planning for service continuity
Responding to Special Collections emergencies 
Recovering from Special Collections emergencies
Case study: Queensland Floodlines 
Security and theft in Special Collections
Case study: the Durham First Folio
A note on insurance and valuation
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Plan templates online
Useful websites


3. UNDERSTANDING OBJECTS IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
A note on terminology
Understanding medieval manuscripts
Case study: long valued, newly found
Understanding early printed books
Introducing analytical bibliography
Managing provenance in Special Collections
Introducing modern formats
Case study: the Books in the Tower 
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


4. ACQUIRING AND DEVELOPING SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
Managing foundation collections
Working with donors and depositors
Purchasing Special Collections
Organizing internal transfer
Understanding legal deposit 
Collecting proactively
Keeping acquisitions records
Managing Special Collections disposals
Case studies: to sell or not to sell?
Managing remote storage of Special Collections
Considering the Special Collections development policy
Case study: unique and distinctive at Bradford
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites

5. CATALOGUING, DESCRIPTION AND METADATA IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
A note on terminology and some key concepts
 Book cataloguing: some history, introducing AACR and MARC
AACR , MARC, and Special Collections
Library cataloguing in the 21st century: introducing RDA and BIBFRAME
Sharing, linking, discovery
Cataloguing manuscripts and archives
ISBD, ISAD, and EAD; and introducing RiC
Metadata for digital objects
Cataloguing objects and artworks
Artists’ books to zines: a note on ‘in-between formats’
Controlled vocabularies for Special Collections metadata
Working with the library management system
Understanding hidden Special Collections
Case study: ‘Lighting the Past’: Star Students at St Andrews
Classifying special collections
Marking and labelling special collections
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


6. DIGITIZATION AND DIGITAL LIBRARIES IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
Managing digitization
Why digitize? 
What to digitize? 
Types and choices
Elements of a digitization project
Digital curation
Introducing the digital library
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


7. LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
Understanding copyright in Special Collections
Case study: peace protest photos
Introducing data protection and freedom of information
Case study: call slip commotion
Introducing cultural property issues
Managing personal integrity
Considering ethics in fund-raising
Equality and diversity in Special Collections
Health and safety in Special Collections
Working with volunteers in Special Collections
Working with children in Special Collections
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


8. USER SERVICES IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
A note on Special Collections staff
Understanding Special Collections users
Managing Special Collections enquiries
Managing Special Collections visitors
Making the web presence mobile 
Managing reprographic services
Managing inter-library loans
Valuations and care of books
Improving services to users
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


9. MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
The Special Collections marketing mix
Commodity: the Special Collections offer
Appeal of books and libraries 
Case study: touch history, become inspired: Innerpeffray and Gladstone’s Libraries
Cost and convenience: accessing Special Collections
Communication: sharing Special Collections
Case study: viral cats
Making more of social media 
Researching user needs
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


10. WIDENING ACCESS TO SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
Why build new audiences?
Issues in widening access
Two key audiences for Special Collections
Case study: love and fear in the stacks
Case study: cartoon creations
Case study: bright young things
Exploring new audiences
Case study: travelling treasures
Managing assessment and feedback
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


11. ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: SPACE AND PEOPLE
Introduction
Special Collections functions and their space requirements
How much space do Special Collections need? 
Special Collections space issues
Special Collections building projects
Making the best of inadequate spaces
Introducing Special Collections people
Functions and staffing models
Services in difficult times
Volunteers and interns in Special Collections
Case study: many hands together: transcribe Bentham
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


12. INFLUENCING AND FUND-RAISING FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Introduction
Introducing advocacy
Reflecting on metrics and impact 
Introducing fund-raising
Why fund-raising matters
Understanding fund-raising issues
Sources of external funding for Special Collections
Case study: a library for a sixth century
Developing a fund-raising strategy
Conclusion
Further reading
Examples and case studies
Useful websites


AFTERWORD: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS FUTURES
Further reading
Useful websites


APPENDIX A:THE SPECIAL COLLECTIONS REFERENCE SHELF
Union catalogues
Archive gateways
Catalogues of incunabula
Other catalogues of hand-press-era books
Digitized books
Provenance
Latin    

APPENDIX B: SKILLS FOR YOUR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS CAREER
Getting into Special Collections work
Skills frameworks
Training for Special Collections
Suggestions for external training
Online learning

BIBLIOGRAPHY


INDEX     

 

"Highly recommended for practitioners and faculty seeking a real-world manual for special collections courses."
- Betty J. Glass, University of Nevada Library, Library Journal

"This new second edition includes: coverage of new standards and concepts including unique and distinctive collections (UDCs), The Leeds Typology, Archive Accreditation, PD 5454:2012 and PAS 197; discussion of the major changes to laws affecting special collections including UK copyright law relating to library/archive exception and orphan works and forthcoming changes to data protection in the EU; exploration of new trends in research including the rise of digital humanities, open access, the impact agenda and the REF; updates to the sections on marketing, audience development and fundraising to include social media, customer journey mapping and crowdsourcing and more; and consideration of impact and indicators, digitization and new skills frameworks from CILIP and RBMS. Simply stated, it is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it certain that all libraries and library systems should have a copy of The Special Collections Handbook in their professional instructional reference collections."
- Library Bookwatch

Reviews of the first edition:

’This excellent Handbook should become a standard reference source for any information professional working in this field.’
– Managing Information

’While highlighting the pressures on, and threats to, special collections care and services, the author continuously emphasizes that there are opportunities as well, and suggests ways to take advantage of these. Over the course of this handbook, the author highlights the unique strengths of special collections and suggests strategies to articulate these to stakeholders and funders. The content is presented in a suitably concise and clear fashion, and there are plentiful references that provide pointers to extensive further reading around each topic. The structure of each chapter is clear, and it is obvious that the handbook is the product of a great deal of care and research. It is a very valuable work that should help shape best practice in working with special collections of all types and sizes.’
– Library and Information Research

’... the book is extremely useful ...the website will remain an excellent resource. Bookmark it now.’
– SCONUL Focus

 

Alison Cullingford is Special Collections Librarian at the University of Bradford, where she is responsible for over 100 collections of modern archives and rare books.  The service was the first English university to achieve Archive Accreditation.  She also managed the Unique and Distinctive Collections project for Research Libraries UK.   An active member of the CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group and many other sector groups, Alison also regularly presents at conferences, blogs and tweets on the importance of the special collections librarian.

 

Introduction

The Special Collections Handbook is written for professional librarians working with Special Collections, or those aspiring to do so, especially library school students and new professionals. It will also be useful to anyone who needs an introduction to the subject, including managers of Special Collections staff, archivists and museum professionals, paraprofessional library staff or volunteers. The main chapters cover all aspects of Special Collections work, taking the reader from the basics of collections care to reaching out to new audiences to the politics of acquiring funding and support

1. The care of Special Collections

The care of collections is the basis of Special Collections work. Librarians need to decide what to preserve and why, and to what extent the information and the artefact can be separated. Chapter 1 outlines the threats to collections and how to manage them. Threats include the physical composition of the objects themselves, environmental factors, pests and mould, buildings and storage, and handling. Cullingford explores conservation and the role of the conservator; introduces preservation reformatting and the challenges of digital preservation and discusses how to bring all these ideas together in a collections care policy.

2. Emergency planning for Special Collections

Chapter 2 covers the causes and impact of emergencies in Special Collections, with particular emphasis on fire and water damage. It looks at how to prevent and prepare for emergencies via the emergency plan and potential issues in responding to and recovering from emergencies. The chapter also explores planning for service continuity, security issues and how to manage them and insurance issues.

3. Understanding objects in Special Collections

Objects in Special Collections include any format that has ever been used for communication, from papryi to digital files. Librarians need to understand the objects in their collections to manage them effectively. Chapter 3 introduces the formats that are the historic basis of Special Collections, as foundation collections or gathered by antiquarians and bibliophiles: manuscripts and early printed books. It also covers common modern formats with preservation issues such as, medieval manuscripts, early printed books (including typography, paper, illustrations and bindings), analytical bibliography, modern publications, important printed formats: private press, artists’ books, ephemera and other fugitive materials, audiovisual media, photographs and plastics and digital media.

4. Acquiring and developing Special Collections

In Chapter 4 Cullingford considers how libraries acquire their Special Collections, looking at their methods of acquisition: foundation collections, donation and deposit, purchase, internal transfer and proactive collecting. The chapter explores how librarians can use these methods to ensure Special Collections are assets not problems. Record-keeping issues in the acquisitions process are reviewed alongside Special Collections disposals and the remote storage of Special Collections, bringing all these issues together in the Special Collections development policy.

5. Cataloguing, description and metadata in Special Collections

In this chapter Cullingford discusses the essential first step in bringing Special Collections to users: cataloguing. All librarians working with such collections need to understand how the materials in their care have been catalogued in order to help users and make effective decisions. Chapter 5 introduces Special Collections metadata, outlines the most important codes, standards and controlled vocabularies for Special Collections metadata, discusses key developments: linked data, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records/Resource Description and Access (FRBR/RDA) and the future of Machine Readable Cataloguing (MARC). It will also examine the massive problem of ‘hidden collections’, discuss classification and shelf arrangements of Special Collections and the marking and labelling of Special Collections materials.

6. Digitization and digital libraries in Special Collections

Librarians are advised not to think of digital as an exception: the creation and management of digital collections are now business-as-usual for most services. Chapter 6 discusses some further aspects of digital collecting which do merit separate consideration including digitization: what and why, managing digitization projects and digital storage and access systems. This chapter concentrates on the management of digitization and digital files, rather than on technical and systems concerns, on the assumption that most libraries will have IT experts on their staff.

7. Legal and ethical issues in Special Collections

Chapter 7 covers the basics of legal and ethical issues in Special Collections: intellectual property (particularly copyright), data protection and freedom of information, cultural property, personal integrity, ethics in fund-raising, equality, health and safety, and working with children.

8. User services in Special Collections

Why do libraries care for collections, collect, catalogue and digitize them? So that people now and in the future can use them. Chapter 8 considers the challenges of bringing people and collections together focusing on the individual services to users. This chapter discusses the nature of Special Collections users, management of typical services: enquiries, physical visits, virtual and mobile visits, reprographics and inter-library loans and ways of improving services to users.

9. Marketing and communications in Special Collections

Chapter 9 provides an overview of marketing for Special Collections, exploring commodity/product and marketing themes, cost/price and convenience/place, communications/promotions, including key channels: websites, the press, exhibitions, social media and advertising and feedback and market research.

10. Widening access to Special Collections

Chapter 10 looks at widening access to Special Collections beyond the standard services to traditional groups of users outlined in Chapter 8, reaching out to market Special Collections to new audiences. It seeks to explain why Special Collections are trying to widen access and reviews the issues and obstacles to this. The chapter looks in detail at Special Collections work with two groups of non-traditional users: undergraduates and school-age children and finally introduces other possibilities for widening access.

11. Organizational resources for Special Collections: space and people

Special Collections need appropriate spaces to house collections, to make them available, and to work on them, plus sufficient staff with the right skills to carry out the activities described in this book. Chapter 11 covers the requirements for Special Collections spaces and people and how to make the most of the resources available to the service. This chapter covers the key issues to consider in both areas: space requirements; how to improve space with building projects; how to cope with inadequate spaces; Special Collections staffing; staff functions and roles; managing in difficult times and managing volunteers and interns, and discovering crowd power.

12. Influencing and fund-raising for Special Collections

In Chapter 12 Cullingford considers fund-raising and influencing. This chapter introduces advocacy, discusses impact and metrics, explains the importance of fund-raising and its issues, discusses sources of Special Collections funding: public programmes, trusts and foundations, individual giving, sponsorship and income generation and considers fund-raising strategy.