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Forging the Future of Special Collections
edited by Arnold Hirshon, Robert H. Jackson, and Melissa Hubbard; introduction by Robert H. Jackson
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1386-4
Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman
Price: $85.00
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224 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1386-4
Year Published: 2016
AP Categories: A, I

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Once treated as exclusive spaces for valuable but hidden and under-utilized material, over the past few decades special collections departments have been transformed by increased digitization and educational outreach efforts into unique and highly visible major institutional assets. What libraries must now contemplate is how to continue this momentum by articulating and implementing a dynamic strategic vision for their special collections. Drawing on the expertise of a world-class array of librarians, university faculty, book dealers, collectors, and donors, this collected volume surveys the emerging requirements of today’s knowledge ecosystem and charts a course for the future of special collections. Expanding upon the proceedings of the National Colloquium on Special Collections organized by the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University in October 2014, this timely resource for special collections librarians, administrators, academics, and rare book dealers and collectors
  • recounts the factors that governed the growth and use of special collections in the past;
  • explores ways to build 21st-century special collections that are accessible globally, and how to provide the expertise and services necessary to support collection use;
  • gives advice on developing and maintaining strong relationships between libraries and collectors, with special attention paid to the importance of donor relations;
  • provides critical information on how libraries and their institutions’ faculty can best collaborate to ensure students and other researchers are aware of the resources available to them;
  • showcases proactive, forward-thinking approaches to applying digital scholarship techniques to special collections materials;
  • looks at how the changes in the way authors work—from analog to digital—increases the importance of archives in preserving the aspects of humanity that elevate us; and
  • examines sustainable and scalable approaches to promoting the use of special collections in the digital age, including the roles of social media and crowdsourcing to bring collections directly to the user.
More than simply a guide to collection management, this book details myriad ways to forge the future of special collections, ensuring that these scholarly treasures advance knowledge for years to come.
Table of Contents

Preface, by Arnold Hirshon
Introduction, by Robert H. Jackson

Part I    Communities

Chapter 1    Reflections on the Meanings of Objects
E. Haven Hawley, Chair of the Special and Area Studies Collections Department at George A. Smathers Library at the University of Florida
Chapter 2    Affinities and Alliances: Thoughts on Acquisitions, Collection Development, and Donor Relations
Jim Kuhn, Joseph N. Lambert and Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
Chapter 3    Where Does the Collector/Donor Community See Special Collections Today?
Jon A. Lindseth
Chapter 4    Collecting Communities: The Role of Special Collections Librarians and Archivists in Creating New Life for Community-Based Collections
Melissa A. Hubbard
Chapter 5    The Role of the Auction House
Selby Kiffer, Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan
Chapter 6    Forging into the Future: Facing Digital Realities and Forecasting Endeavors for Special Collections Librarianship
Athena N. Jackson

Part II        The Enduring Object

Chapter 7    Lawrence Clark Powell Revisited: The Functions of Rare Books Today
Joel Silver, Director of the Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington
Chapter 8    Special Collections Libraries and the Uses of the Past (Apologies to Herbert Muller)
Paul Ruxin
Chapter 9    Everything Old Is New Again: Transformation in Special Collections
Alice Schreyer, Vice President for Collections and Library Services at the Newberry Library
Chapter 10    Special Collections and the Booksellers of Today
Tom Congalton
Chapter 11    Acknowledging the Past
Daniel De Simone, Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library
Chapter 12    Literary Archives: How They Have Changed and How They Are Changing
Ken Lopez
Chapter 13    Objects of Study: Special Collections in an Age of Digital Scholarship
Stephen Enniss, Director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas
Part III    From Periphery to Center

Chapter 14    Considering the Present: Special Collections are the Meal, Not the Dessert

Jay Satterfield, head of Dartmouth College’s Rauner Special Collections Library
Chapter 15    Teaching with Special Collections
Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington
Chapter 16    From Siberia to Shangri-La
Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College
Chapter 17    The Once and Future Special Collections
Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

About the Editors and Contributors

About the Editors

Arnold Hirshon
has been the Associate Provost and University Librarian at Case Western Reserve University since August 2010. He has an extensive scholarly record that includes many monographs, among them the Library Strategic Planning Toolkit (with Stephen Spohn), and Outsourcing Library Technical Services (with Barbara Winters). He is also the author of numerous articles about strategic management, organizational design, technology, leadership, information service integration, assessment and optimization of operations, and nonprofit management. A frequent lecturer nationally and internationally, he has given lectures in nearly 40 countries on six continents on a wide range of topics, including organizational management, trend spotting and analysis, technology planning, and operations assessment and optimization.

Robert H. Jackson is a senior partner at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, PLL in Cleveland, and is also a noted writer, speaker, and collector of rare books and art. His broad knowledge of, and involvement in, bibliophilic endeavors are reflected in his affiliations with such organizations as the Grolier Club, the Rowfant Club of Cleveland, Association Internationale de Bibliophile (Paris), and the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, of which he is a founder and past chairman. At Case Western Reserve University, he serves as chair of the Baker-Nord Committee for Humanities Advisory Board, is a member of the Visiting Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute for the Science of Origins Visiting Committee. He is the Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Kelvin Smith Library.

Melissa A. Hubbard is the Head of Special Collections and Archives at Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University. She previously served as the Rare Book Librarian at Southern Illinois University. Her research and professional interests include the pedagogical uses of special collections materials and innovative approaches to exposing hidden collections.

“A good balance of practical, theoretical, and philosophical writing for those with close ties to special collection departments. The essays are well-written, easy to understand, and come from those with good authority in their fields.”

”Recommended for archivists, special collections librarians, and administrators of the same, along with book collectors and sellers."
— Library Journal

"This compilation captures a valuable cross-section of perspectives on the state of special collections and their possible future directions. One valuable feature of the book is that many of the authors are leaders in their fields, including head curators, administrators, long-time collectors and booksellers, and faculty, who have seen broad changes in cultural heritage-related fields. Another appealing feature is that many of the chapters are brief, which helps busy professionals stay current in their profession. Also, the editors have performed a great service to the special collections field by documenting the thoughts exchanged at the colloquium and sharing them with the wider world."
— Technical Services Quarterly

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