Curating print collections in the digital age

  • Swanick S
  • Garland J
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Purpose ? Purpose: As collection development in research libraries becomes increasingly homogeneous and ?e-preferred?, it is our heritage collections that differentiate us and anchor the physical presence of our institutions. These valuable heritage resources, vital for teaching, researching, and learning are unfortunately too often inaccessible, uncatalogued, and ultimately undiscoverable. This paper focuses on the curation of special collections as a means of exposing hidden collections and discusses practical steps undertaken to highlight unique print materials in the digital age. Design/methodology/approach ? This case study describes the transformation of a hidden collection into a teaching collection through the exhibition of uncatalogued Islamic manuscripts, their associated digital component and the resulting faculty?librarian collaboration. Findings ? By sharing print collections through exhibitions with an associated digital component, we are both increasing the visibility of, and improving access to the material. Originality/value ? This case study outlines a successful approach to exposing hidden collections to support an innovative teaching and learning environment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Exhibitions
  • Hidden collections
  • Islamic manuscripts
  • Primary source literacy
  • Special collections

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  • Sean Swanick

  • Jennifer Garland

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