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
Tag: Rare Books
British Armorial Bindings: Heraldry Online
Delighted to see the British Armorial Bindings database online, thanks to the Bibliographical Society of London and the University of Toronto. Building on the work of the late John Morris, continued by Philip Oldfield, the database aims to offer a "comprehensive catalogue of all the coats of arms, crests, and other heraldic devices that have … Continue reading British Armorial Bindings: Heraldry Online
52 Fantastic Bindings – what next?
Special Collections at the University of St Andrews have been running a weekly series: 52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, highlighting the gorgeous bindings of their rare books and manuscripts. I mentioned this great series before, but, now that the 52 Weeks are over, I think it's time to mention it again! The series is worth … Continue reading 52 Fantastic Bindings – what next?
Special, Safe and Secure
An impressive new work published by the Association of College & Research Libraries offers comprehensive coverage of all aspects of security for special collections: Guide to security considerations and practices for rare book, manuscript and special collection libraries, compiled and edited by Everett Wilkie (ACRL, 2011). The book offers definitive expert guidance on this vital … Continue reading Special, Safe and Secure
Exhibiting the Written Word
A new report, Exhibiting the Written Word, makes the excellent point that "there has been little reflection on the challenges of displaying the written word and how such displays differ from the display of art and museum artefacts". The report outlines the challenges e.g. book formats were not (usually) created to be shown in glass … Continue reading Exhibiting the Written Word
The Missing Materials Experiment
The Missing materials.org experiment in working together on stolen material, which I cited in the Handbook, has now finished. It didn't achieve huge takeup, but helped publicise the issue of theft, encourage more openness and assisted OCLC Research in developing light touch resources and experimental software. Find out more in this article: Turning out the … Continue reading The Missing Materials Experiment
Books about Books Reviewed
The latest issue of Rare Books Newsletter (91, January 2012) is entirely devoted to reviews of recent books of interest to Special Collections. Find out what librarians, academics and other experts made of publications about manuscripts, early printed books, the historic book trade, bookbindings, a private press and a national library: Alston, R.C.. Inventory of … Continue reading Books about Books Reviewed