Delighted to share news of a report which should help anyone trying to make the case for investment in special collections. Or indeed considering whether they should invest in them …
Unique and distinctive collections: opportunities for research libraries is freely available online from the Research Libraries UK website. It’s based on fieldwork I carried out during my time with RLUK, edited and updated by Caroline Peach and Mike Mertens.
The report pulls together the case for special collections, using fascinating case studies to show how such collections help universities to stand out and convey values in a competitive and turbulent environment. Many libraries are now tackling the legacy problems of unsuitable spaces and vast uncatalogued hidden collections: taking away constraints that allow collections to support teaching, research, community engagement, creative activities and fundraising, reaping financial and other benefits as a result.
I hope this report will inspire those working in such services and those who fund them to find ways to bring their wonderful collections to light.