Collective Collection

A Collective Collection refers to the shared resources of multiple libraries, archives, and museums. Collective Collections can be leveraged to benefit all institutional stakeholders, including researchers, scholars, students, and patrons.

OCLC Research’s Collective Collection work provides evidence and insight to support decision-making into how cultural heritage institutions organize shared collections and services. Through this work, OCLC Research is helping to create a more connected, collaborative landscape for libraries, archives, and museums, with the goal of making collections more accessible, impactful, and cost-efficient.

Highlighted Collective Collection Projects, Publications, and Presentations

Cover images for Sustaining Art Research Collections

Sustaining Art Research Collections: Using Data to Explore Collaboration

By Brian Lavoie, Dennis Massie, Chela Scott Weber
This report explores collaboration opportunities between art, academic, and independent research libraries by analyzing WorldCat bibliographic and holdings data and WorldShare interlibrary loan transaction data.

Sustaining Art Research Collections: Case Studies in Collaboration

By Dennis Massie, Chela Scott Weber, Mercy Procaccini, Brian Lavoie
This report shares recommendations for building successful collaborations and identifies typical challenges library partnerships navigate based on case study research of current art library collaborations.


Interlibrary Loan Cost Calculator

The Interlibrary Loan Cost Calculator allows library administrators and practitioners to:

  • Learn average ILL lending and borrowing costs across the ILL system
  • Learn their own interlending unit costs
  • Track changes over time multiple years
  • Compare their own costs with averages of anonymized peer institutions
  • Simulate the cost impact of automating a particular process
  • Estimate their own costs for data categories they were unable to report


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Operationalizing the BIG Collective Collection: A Case Study of Consolidation vs Autonomy

20 August 2019

by Lorcan Dempsey, Constance Malpas, Mark Sandler

The proposed framework recommends strategies for advancing the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s (BTAA) collective collections toward a more purposeful coordination of their print collections. It defines four traits of a purposeful collective collection that can also apply broadly to other consortium settings.


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Hanging Together: the OCLC Research blog

Explore a collection of blog posts on the evolution of the Collective Collection, as well as insights on how it can create a more connected and collaborative landscape for cultural heritage institutions.

Go to the Collective Collection