"An archive without a catalogue is like a room without a door": inaccessible, unusable, and the cause of much frustration. Still we and our users struggle with uncatalogued archives, our hidden collections. Why don't archive services catalogue these collections? Cataloguing archives takes time, expertise, and space. The scale of hidden collections in the UK is … Continue reading Revealed! How to catalogue your hidden archives
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 … Continue reading How can unique and distinctive collections support University mission?
This post from the Special Collections librarian at the Jerwood Library, Trinity Laban, is inspiring. It tells a story of hidden, neglected special collections which were a burden and a concern for library staff. The writer shows how making the collections visible and making the case for their support changed everything. It's particularly interesting that … Continue reading Making the Case is Key for Music
One of the greatest problems facing Special Collections services is the legacy of historic collecting policies - or, rather, lack of them: hidden collections. Uncatalogued, sometimes wanted, sometimes not, taking up space and resources and causing all kinds of problems. As I quote in the Handbook, such collections really are our dirty little (big?) secret. … Continue reading Hidden Collections in the UK