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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.

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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.

 

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