A look at the health of special collections and archives
The report will inform OCLC activities in several areas. In addition to OCLC Research's work with the RLG Partnership, OCLC's Metadata Services and End User Services divisions will use the report to guide strategy for enhancing discovery and utilization of special collections and archives. Several trends identified in the survey are of great import to the broader community engaged in using and promoting the use of special collections and archives. Among them:
- Only 44% of archival finding aids are available online.
- Special collections are growing quickly: ARL libraries show a 50% increase in the last decade in print materials, more than 300% in audio-visual formats.
- 67% of institutions use off-site storage for rare and unique materials, yet space was the most-cited challenging issue.
- The ability to deal with born-digital archival materials continues to be low.
You can find the study here: Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives [pdf]. Watch the OCLC Research blog, hangingtogether.org, for Jackie's forthcoming postings on particular aspects of the survey.
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