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. The Special Collections Handbook 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
Preface and acknowledgements
1. The care of Special Collections
2. Emergency planning for Special Collections
3. Understanding objects in Special Collections
4. Acquiring and developing Special Collections
5. Cataloguing, description and metadata in Special Collections
6. Digitization and digital libraries in Special Collections
7. Legal and ethical issues in Special Collections
8. User services in Special Collections
9. Marketing and communications in Special Collections
10. Widening access to Special Collections
11. Organizational resources for Special Collections: space and people
12. Influencing and fund-raising for Special Collections
Afterword: Special Collections futures
Appendix A: The Special Collections reference shelf
Appendix B: Skills for your Special Collections career
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.
"As a practical handbook, this volume should be on the shelf of every special collections library – it should, indeed, be on the shelf of every library. There is much that all librarians may glean from it, whether their institution houses a special collection or not. It is worth every information professional understanding how special collections work to facilitate organizational communication and understanding, to see whether there are opportunities for collaboration or simply to understand how special collections function within a wider institution."
– Ludovica Price, University of London, Reference Reviews
"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
"The Special Collections Handbook should be an essential tool to anyone managing Special Collections or archives, no matter their professional background or area of expertise."
– Mark Dorrington, The University of Nottingham, Archives and Records
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