New Report, "Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives"

This report provides the detailed findings from a 2009 OCLC Research survey of 275 institutions across the U.S. and Canada to determine norms across the community and to provide data to support decision making and priority setting.

This survey updated and expanded a similar survey administered by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998, the outcomes of which catalyzed the special collections community and led directly to numerous high-profile initiatives to "expose hidden collections." Since then, recognition of the distinction that unique special collections bring to our institutions has greatly increased. Some key data points discovered in the 2009 survey include: far too many rare and unique materials remain "hidden"; the size of collections is growing rapidly; most institutions report increased numbers of onsite users; staffing generally remains stable; and digitization and born-digital archival records emerged as two of the three most challenging issues.

Key implications of the survey results for the special collections and archives community, including the recommended action items detailed in the report, will be discussed in a webinar on 28 October 2010. Webinar participation is free but advanced registration is required. This webinar will be recorded and made available on our Web site and in iTunes.

  • Read the report [pdf].
  • Register* to attend this free webinar via WebEx on 28 October 2010 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC 18:00).
  • Learn more about this project.

*After you register, you will receive an e-mail message that contains instructions for logging on to WebEx, where you will view the meeting slides online through your Web browser (please note that WebEx recommends using Internet Explorer or Firefox, as Chrome and Safari are not supported). When you log in to the webinar, the presentation audio will be available through your computer headset or phone.

If you have questions or need assistance, please call WebEx technical support directly by phone at US/Canada Toll-Free: 1 (866) 229-3239 or International Toll: +1 (408) 435-7088.

More Information

Read the Report: Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives

Register to Attend the Survey of Special Collections and Archives Webinar at 2 p.m. EDT on 28 October 2010

Learn More About the Survey of Special Collections and Archives

OCLC Research Reports

OCLC Research Webinars

OCLC Research Webinar Recordings in iTunes

For more information:

Jackie Dooley
Program Officer
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research