Statements, Principles and Reports of ARL Special Collections Working Groups
The Transforming Special Collections in the Digital Age Working Group is charged with monitoring and advising on the role of Special Collections in research libraries. The working group identifies the issues distinctive to research libraries, which are most critical for special collections in the digital age, and recommends any policies or actions that the Association is in a unique position to adopt. Work from previous ARL Special Collections Working Groups and Task Forces is also compiled here.
Special collections are a priority for ARL attention. In particular, ARL seeks to:
- Identify opportunities and recommend actions for ARL and other organizations that will encourage concerted action and coordinated planning for collecting and exposing 19th- and 20th-century materials in all formats (rare books, archives and manuscripts, audio, and video, and digital, etc).
- Identify criteria and strategies for collecting digital and other new media material that currently lack a recognized and responsible structure for stewardship.
These two issues are closely linked. An enormous amount of valuable material in all formats remains uncollected and risks being permanently lost. Coordinated strategies are needed for identifying, collecting, preserving, and exposing more of these materials to increase their use in teaching and research.
Celebrating Research: Rare and Special Collections from the Membership of the Association of Research Libraries was published in 2007, on the 75th anniversary of ARL.
RLI 267, a Special Issue on Distinctive Collections, includes presentations from the 2009 ARL-CNI Fall Forum, "An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age," (October 2009).