Forging the Future of Special Collections

May 24, 2016

Robert H. Jackson, one of the founding partners of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, introduced and collaborated with Melissa A. Hubbard and Arnold Hirshon to edit Forging the Future of Special Collections.

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.

Forging the Future of Special Collections can be purchased here.