Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the United Kingdom and Ireland
An OCLC Research Report by:
Jackie Dooley, OCLC Research
Rachel Beckett, University of Manchester
Alison Cullingford, Bradford University
Katie Sambrook, King's College London
Chris Sheppard, University of Leeds
Sue Worrall, University of Birmingham
(.pdf: 1.8M/259 pp.)
The key findings and recommendations from the report are highlighted in the Summary and Recommendations (.pdf: 69K/12 pp.).
Special collections and archives play a key role in the future of research libraries. However, significant challenges face institutions that wish to capitalize on that value, to leverage and make fully available the rich content in special collections in order to support research, teaching, and community engagement.
This report, produced in collaboration by OCLC Research and RLUK, builds on the foundation established by Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives [pdf], a report published in 2010 that provides a rigorous, evidence-based appraisal of the state of special collections in the US and Canada. The survey provides both evidence and a basis for action as part of the RLUK's Unique and Distinctive Collections workstrand and OCLC Research's Mobilizing Unique Materials theme.
This report provides institutional leaders, curators, special collections staff, and archivists both evidence and inspiration to plan for much needed and deserved transformation of special collections. Specifically, it contains twenty recommendations that the authors feel will have a positive impact toward addressing the issues identified. It also provides a backdrop for continued discussion, both within special collections and the larger library enterprise, for the role of special collections in an evolved information economy. These key findings and recommendations are highlighted in the report's executive summary (.pdf: 69K/12 pp.), which has been published as a separate document for your reading convenience.
Together, the survey findings published in this report and those published in its earlier companion piece, Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives [pdf], establish a baseline for comparison of practices in the US and Canada between those in the UK and Ireland, and help to pave the way for building on mutual strengths and planning for joint activities where warranted.
Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the UK and Ireland
Report publication announcement:
OCLC Research and RLUK Report Calls for Transformation of Special Collections Sector in UK and Ireland
OCLC Research theme:
Mobilizing Unique Materials
Related activity page:
Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the US and Canada
Unique and Distinctive Collections
Dooley, Jackie M., Rachel Beckett, Alison Cullingford, Katie Sambrook, Chris Sheppard, and Sue Worrall (2013), Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research.