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tag: Special Collections

Blog Post
October 5, 2017

Lessons from Save America’s Treasures

New Report Provides Case Studies of 21 SAT Grantees

Every now and again it is useful to take a look at past programs and reflect on what we learned. I had the great pleasure of working on such a project over the last several months. The American Architectural Foundation asked us to assist with an evaluation of the Save America’s Treasures project that was funded by the federal government from 1999-2010 through the National Park Service and its partner agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment…
Research Report
October 5, 2017

Save America’s Treasures: Impact and Lessons

As part of the National Historic Preservation Fund, Save America’s Treasures awarded nearly 500 grants between 1999 and 2010 through the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to preserve collections that embody the American story. The collections contain major parts of the nation’s artistic, social, and intellectual history.  The impact of these grants has not been assessed in any comprehensive way, and one of the…
Blog Post
October 29, 2014

Notes on Columbia’s Book History Colloquium

Yesterday, I attended Columbia University’s Book History Colloquium, which is sponsored by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where Andrew Stauffer, associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, spoke about “Traces in the Stacks: 19th-Century Book Use and the Future of Library Collections.” Observing the trend in academic and research libraries towards moving tangible collections offsite, and sometimes de-accessioning them, in favor of digital versions, Stauffer is concerned about the implications for scholarship. Stauffer offered a richly…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Maine Memory Network

Maine Historical Society

Investing in distributed capacity-building for continuous growth The Maine Memory Network, referred to as “Maine’s Statewide Digital Museum,” created by the Maine Historical Society, provides a shared space for cultural institutions throughout the state to scan and host images, documents, and artifacts from their collections. By initially framing the project as a partnership and investing in concentrated outreach and training, the program has succeeded in bringing in over 270 partners from across the state, from the Maine State Archives, to…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Quakers and Slavery

Haverford College

Shared infrastructure supports long-term sustainability and modest growth Launched in 2009, Quakers and Slavery is an online collection of letters, images, and other materials related to the role of Quakers in the American abolition movement. A collaboration between Haverford College and Swarthmore College, the collection aligns closely with the missions of these Quaker-founded institutions. Quakers and Slavery is one of the most visited sites on Triptych, the platform for digitized special collections shared by the Tri-College partnership of Haverford, Swarthmore,…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Vanderbilt Television News Archive

Vanderbilt University

Securing institutional support for a national mission On August 5, 1968, Vanderbilt University Libraries (then, the Joint University Libraries) began recording, preserving, and providing access to the news broadcasts of the three national networks. Since then, Vanderbilt has captured more than 40,000 hours of news broadcasts, creating the largest collection of American broadcast news in the world. Most remarkable about this case is the longevity of the Television News Archive. The Archive has always been financially challenged, but it has…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Florida Folklife Collection

State Archives of Florida

Building User Engagement for a Sustainable Future The Florida Memory site first came online in 1996, and today it enjoys over forty-eight million page views each year from folklorists, historians, musicians, teachers, students, and others who use this rich collection. The Florida Folklife Collection, launched online in 2003, is one of Florida Memory’s most popular components. A digital repository of thousands of photographs and films, the collection is especially noted for its diverse mix of audio recordings, including vocal and…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Searching for Sustainability

Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections

This report aims to address one of the biggest challenges facing libraries and cultural heritage organizations: how to move their special collections into the 21st century through digitization while developing successful strategies to make sure those collections remain accessible and relevant over time. Through a cooperative agreement as part of the National Leadership Grants Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), in partnership with Ithaka S+R, to undertake in-depth case studies…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

American Antiquarian Society

Worcester, Massachusetts

Building a comprehensive digital collection and creating a vital revenue stream through commercial partnerships The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), an independent research library and scholarly society, has a clearly defined mission: to collect everything published and printed in America prior to 1877. The AAS has traditionally operated from a small endowment and contributions. But in 2002, Readex, a publisher of digitized historical primary source materials, began to reissue AAS-based microform products in digital form, paying the Society royalties that quickly…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Sustainable growth through collaborative partnerships The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), created in 2006, is the result of a collaboration of ten natural history museum and botanical garden libraries seeking to digitize core taxonomic literature and to make it free and openly available throughout the world. Today, the BHL includes fifteen member institutions whose efforts have shaped a collection of over 60,000 titles. It has developed beyond project status to become a service that researchers in systematic biology have integrated into…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History

Cornell University

Upfront investment in user-friendly back-end systems allows for continual growth The Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH) is a digitized collection of academic and popular monographs and journals comprising the core literature of home economics, or, as it is more commonly known today, human ecology. Created at Cornell University’s Mann Library, which serves primarily Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology, HEARTH was launched in 2003 with the support of a two-year…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Grateful Dead Archive Online

University of California at Santa Cruz

Cultivating a targeted user group for support and content Few archives come with a built-in fan base. The Grateful Dead Archive Online is distinguished from many other academic special collections by the variety of media it holds, from concert tickets to audio files and art created by fans of the band, and by its potential audience, the many thousands of fans of the Grateful Dead. Support for the Archive has come from grant funding, private donors, and from this fan…
Blog Post
August 1, 2013

Can’t Buy Us Love

Rick Anderson kicks off new Ithaka S+R Issue Briefs series

The use of large, comprehensive collections of printed books and journals has seen a massive decline at North American research libraries in recent years—an effect of the shift in scholarly publishing from an analog and print-based model to a digital and networked one. However, during these past two decades of radical change and energetic response, I believe we have missed a much more important shift, one that poses a more direct and existential threat than the one posed by the…
Issue Brief
August 1, 2013

Can’t Buy Us Love

The Declining Importance of Library Books and the Rising Importance of Special Collections

Introduction Research libraries throughout North America are experiencing a massive decline in the use of their general collections[1]—their large and comprehensive collections of printed books and journal volumes purchased in the commercial marketplace. This decline is the inevitable outcome of a massive shift in scholarly publishing from an analog and print-based to a digital and networked one. In this environment, it is no longer obvious that it makes sense for research libraries to continue their traditional practice of…
Research Report
February 21, 2013

Appraising our Digital Investment

Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries

Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and conducted by Ithaka S+R, this study provides insight into how ARL libraries are managing and funding the hundreds of digitized special collections they have created and that they believe to be critical to their futures. This is the first survey of ARL institutions that specifically attempts to understand and benchmark the activities and costs of supporting these collections after they are created. By looking at questions of management, costs, funding sources,…