special libraries

Special libraries fill a unique niche in the library community. Their collections are often heavily weighted to one area of interest in support of a specific user base. Because of this specialization, the libraries often house special collections that are invaluable not only to their own users but also to researchers around the world. OCLC programs and services help special libraries get needed resources to users at the point of need.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Share your collections online to foster the spread of information

As a private research library, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens maintains collections that were only available to a small number of in-person researchers. The library’s online digital collection now allows researchers across the globe to examine and compare these unique resources entirely through their computers.

Read the Huntington Library's story

National Art Library

Drive museum discovery through a single search

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s National Art Library staff were using a library management system that was highly customized but was not providing the best user experience. Users had to search in multiple databases and catalogs depending on what they were looking for. By introducing a new library management system, the library improved not only the user experience, but also the visibility of their collections, and they saved staff time too.

Read the National Art Library’s story

Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin
Courtesy Harry Ransom Center.

Open new research opportunities with your digital collections

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin wanted to make its collection on writer Gabriel García Márquez available to scholars worldwide. With tools built into the Center’s digital collection management software, researchers can now easily compare manuscript pages between collections from anywhere in the world.

Read the Harry Ransom Center's story

 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Photo by Luis García

Serve the global research community through international visibility

The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC, or Spanish National Research Council) Libraries and Archives Network expanded the collection's discoverability by making the catalog easy to find worldwide through popular websites.

Read CSIC's story


Preserve your resources and increase visibility

There are many institutions that have special collections full of fragile, precious documents and resources that, due to limited access or little knowledge of their existence, few people get to see. However, with the opportunity to make their resources available on a digital platform, the Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya was able to increase the visibility of and preserve the documents they had for more people to enjoy them the world over.

Read ICGC's story

Photo of Australian parrot by John Manger, courtsey of CSIRO
Photo by John Manger, courtesy of CSIRO

Support scientists around the world

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) processes a high volume of interlibrary loan requests around the world, which makes it difficult to keep up with multiple supplier accounts, different billing cycles and requests in different formats. Now that the library has integrated a new ILL system into its existing request system, staff receive requests in a standard format and pay only one invoice a month.

Read CSIRO's story